Dr. J. (like so many others I've written about in this blog) has made a profound impact on the person I am today. I fondly recall something something he did several years ago that still makes me take a good hard look at how I live, and say, "I need to have a unique perspective like that guy." I asked him if I could tell a story about him and he graciously said, "Uh...yeah, a blog about ME!? COOL!"
Dr. J. has a this amazing confidence, wisdom, and awesome personality that just makes him a great leader, the kind of person that you see joking around a lot but also the kind of guy that knows how to get the job done. I remember observing something specific he did that made me change everything I think and do.
He was hanging out one time with a bunch of people from church one day, just walking through town with us. While walking through a rougher area, we passed by the corner that respectable citizens like ourselves don't often pass by. The town scoundrel "Papa Willie" the pimp, was there in his purple felt hat, fat wallet, and a few of the poor women who were forced to do unthinkable, humiliating, degrading things daily. A few of us in our group saw Papa Willie and started to say things to him that we felt maybe would cause him to see things in a new light. "Hey, you disgust me." "You know you are going to Hell. Doesn't that bother you at all?" I remember one of the Deacon's wives pointing a finger at the prostitutes as she uttered, "how dare you's?" and "what would your mother think!?" I was looking at Dr. J because he always had something interesting to say. To my (and everybody else's) shock and awe, He told Papa Willie to take a break from work and hang out with us!! Papa Willie wasn't sure what to do at first. He was afraid of the narrowed eyes and frowns from the rest of the group. He knew our kind, and our kind wasn't so kind. And then he looked at Dr. J. He studied his eyes, trying to figure out if he was for real, or if this was some kind of a trick. Dr. J must have been convincing because Papa Willie left his ladies and his boat of a car. Good grief! That filthy creep was ours for the rest of the day!
Papa Willie didn't have much to say, he pretty much stayed close to Dr. J. and listened to the stories the good doctor shared with us. "Hey, I have to make some phone calls. You mind, I gotta take care of some bidness?", he asked Dr. J. as we neared a phone booth (remember those!?) "We'll wait for you." was Doc's response.
It seemed like Willie was making calls FOREVER. I could tell most of our group was seething, but nobody had the guts to say anything to Dr. J. I bet they were plotting to get him kicked out of our church. When Papa Willie FINALLY came back to the group he had a big ol' grin on his face. He had a sparkling smile (lots of gold. Lol). "Hey." He said to Dr. J, "I got it all worked out. I called some friends of mine and they want to hang out with you too. They're (his posse) goin' to my place now and are taking down the girly posters and stashin' the pipes out of sight. Ya know, I wanna do that out of respect for you. Know y'all don't dig that kind of thang."
Long story short, we found ourselves amongst some pretty scary looking people that evening. I learned a few new words (not ones I'd ever find on my spelling tests either). But these scraggly, tattooed, glassy-eyed people were fascinated with Dr. J. Nobody from any church had ever wanted anything to do with them. I could tell they adored him for it. When it was time to go, and we were alone in the church van with Dr. J. Somebody had had it. "WHY IN THE WORLD did you just eat and drink with such scum??!!
"Because I'm a doctor.", was his reply. "Those people have been wounded and broken for years. You guys don't need me as much as those people. I live to heal hurting people." WOW. Thank-you Dr. J for teaching me to love people that others overlook.
Confession: I wasn't actually there when this went down. This is a story about Jesus from the Bible. He was with religious people when he came upon one of the most despised people of the town. His name was Matthew (also called Levi) - a tax collector. Jesus really DID tell him to leave his job and follow him. Matthew really DID host a party that evening for Jesus. The religious people really DID freak out about it. Jesus really DID make comparison to himself and a doctor. Check it out in the Bible. ( I like the NEW LIVING TRANSLATION of this story myself) http://www.biblegateway.com the passage is from Luke 6: 27-31
I love you guys! Thanks again for reading!