Day 11 | America, The Beautiful
Washington for us was one of those places that we could always go together, but we both ended up at Reagan National yesterday and figured it had been a while since we had a sleepover.
A walk over to Capitol South and then the Blue Line lead to the meet up spot: the Dunkin Donuts just outside security at DCA. Lindy and I tend to make friends wherever we go, so the man who made a latté and a hot chocolate soon found himself as the audience for a two person comedy standup routine.
Welcome to America, The Beautiful.
Basically, we walk around always curious as to what God is up to and along for the adventure in between. A stroll around Union Station led to plotting a children's book series about two best friends: Frankie and Lindy. We listed out a bunch of our stories together for our storybook, but none of them really have a great message for kids... a lot of them were about how we were dying for the time "when our parents would let us do anythingggggg" and accidental bike rides to O'hare when we were old enough to have known better than to bike ride through Franklin Park.
A hilarious banter lead to the security guards at the Library of Congress giving us a cookie. I told them that they are so nice that they must be republicans. They cracked and said, "Yes." We heard our new friend tell our story to his buddies and then a laughter erupt from behind us. We enjoyed the cookie and proceeded on our journey.
The cookie was the best on the Hill.
There was a phase that I went through when I was learning the importance of being organized where anytime I sent a great email or Google calendar invite, I had to announce to my friends, "Hey! Look at me! I am organized!" They gave me the old "that is so nice, Frankie" look and let me celebrate the small victories. Today, I say, "Hey! Look at me! I am writing when I do not feel like it!"
At the beginning of Advent, I felt clearly that the Lord wanted me to write. He and I had a fight about it because I like to keep things hidden in my notebooks, but He told me that He gave me stories to tell. The other day, He even put Bruce next to me to tell me the same thing again.
In high school, we took a speech class our sophomore year, and after I gave one of my speeches, Mr. Conley said, "Well, you sure did not get your dad's genes for speaking now." Needless to say, I got a C. I remember shrugging and saying, "Nope." Mr. Conley and I did not have the best relationship after I put an article about Greek mythology on his desk when he told me I was wrong in class. I was right, so of course I had to prove it by finding a scholarly article and leaving it with a note.
The other night, I found out that I was not at the table with my parents at a dinner focused on tax reform. I internally freaked out and pretended like it was no big deal. "Come, Holy Spirit," I prayed. I did the usual small talk and listened and took mental notes on tax reform. Yes, jobs. Yes, taxes. Yes, reform.
Speaking in front of people is not my favorite, but when I have the opportunity I never turn it down. You never know who is listening, and God gave me stories to tell. "Have you told them what you do for a living, Frankie?" my dad asked me in front of the table. The spotlight was on, and it was go-time.
"Come, Holy Spirit," I prayed again. The Holy Spirit is awesome. He surprises me all the time, and I love feeling His presence. It is terrifyingly beautiful and something I have been praying for all year long.
I wish I knew what I said, but it was the most beautiful way that I have ever told the story of JOY in about two and a half minutes. We seemingly had zero professional overlap, but the table was captivated. I did not pretend to be an expert on tax reform, but I did tell of a bridge between two worlds and a place where poverties embrace.
Washington is funny because whenever I show up here, God just does funny things. Yesterday, somehow I ended up eating lunch with the Peruvian ambassador and three newly elected members of parliament. I cannot write this stuff or tell of how completely surprising it is. After the lunch, I went and found my mom and my friend's mom, too. We sent a selfie to Uganda for Heidi and Shalom.
Laughing, I was thinking about how hilarious it was to watch Lindy be in D.C. for the first time. I joked and said that now she is officially American. Gracey came tonight to surprise my parents and me at an event on Eye Street.
The waiting is a funny time, a challenge to be disciplined, yet hilarious to see what the Lord does.
My conclusions from today: God is hilarious.
Who the heck spontaneously has sleepovers with their best friend in D.C.?
Who the heck spontaneously has their sister just drop in from Manhattan to surprise the family at a democracy event?
Who the heck even goes to democracy events?
One of my favorite:
Jesus said to the crowds:
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”