Humans of Chicago pt. 2

Betty, Eleah, Hannah, and Mark | State Street | November 20, 2016

Betty, Eleah, Hannah, and Mark | State Street | November 20, 2016

I looked at my phone walking out of mass and saw a message from Eleah. 

"Headed to the city this afternoons to bring meals to and have conversations with homeless friends. Any tips?" 

I texted her to just ask people about how their day is going... wait, what time?! 

"12:57 Train. Come."

I started doing some mental math: carry the one, take the derivative, and multiply by 100. The time did not add up... It was already almost noon, and I had a photoshoot with Lindy. There was no way that I could do the shoot, find all my warm clothes, grab my camera, and be back in downtown Wheaton by 12:57. I decided that I would try, but it was not looking likely... I was already plotting on attempting to make the next train and then trying to find Eleah in the city. 

I waited for Lindy at River City Roasters so that we could do her shoot to send into United for their marketing casting call. The whole while, we were laughing that we were actually doing this. Would we have believed it if someone had told us when we were fourteen that this is what life would look like in our twenties? Probably not. 

Drop off at home.
Sprint upstairs.
Tear through closet.
Locate winter boots.
Ask Steve for a ride.
Grab left over pizza.
Grab camera.
Leave. 

I paused to look at the clock... only 12:30? I still had loads of time. It did not add up.

I had a feeling that this would be a random day. When Eleah told me that she was going downtown with some of her friends to spend time with the homeless, I pictured her with maybe three friends from high school. Eleah and I found each other on the train and greeted one another with a classic movie embrace on the stairs.

Eleah | Madison Avenue

Eleah | Madison Avenue

We sat in the upstairs of the Metra, and I found out that I was actually with about forty high schoolers from Wheaton North all going downtown together, armed with sandwiches and hats and gloves. The cold was not going to stop them, and they sat excited for whatever God was going to do in the next few hours in the Loop. They all quickly welcomed the random 23 year old. 

Eleah is one of those kindred spirits. She described me to Betty as her friend/big sister/mom all combined into one. We met a couple years ago in the Dominican Republic and knew that we were meant to be friends. Yesterday was our third time seeing each other on the States side, which cracks us up because we grew up just across town. Eleah is a freshmen in college, and I regularly forget the age difference because she teaches me so much with her heart, always quick to obey the Lord and love others always. She is also super weird, which I so greatly appreciate. Sup, Eleah. 

We reached the city, and the whole lot gathered together and prayed for the afternoon right in the lobby of Oglevie. We split into groups, and I got the dream team: Eleah, Betty, Hannah, and Mark. 

Slowly, I got the question: So... Frankie, how old are you? 

I forgot. Oh yeah, 23. 

We all just walked together, and it is interesting walking and looking for people who are strangers. All of a sudden, you have a different set of eyes and you see people you never usually notice. 

A few months ago, I began praying: 

Lord, give me Your eyes to see You, give me Your ears to hear You, and give me Your heart to love You.

All five of us began walking through the city with a different set of eyes than we had had on the train. We were not the typical suburban kids walking around the Loop, even though we definitely looked the part. 

Together, we prayed: 

Come, Holy Spirit.