Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Look around, He is there

Today was a great day. I rented a set ot snorkeling gear and after we dropped Kian off at school, I borrowed Tif's car and went adventuring. Took a few wrong turns, but ended up at Ala Moana Regional Park.

I sent snorkeling along the main beach and it was a good swimming beach, but not that great for snorkeling, at least not up close and I didn't want to go out to the reef which was quite a ways out. So I got out and walked over to the lagoon, which had a pretty good reef along the edge with a few openings where the tide was coming in. I swam that entire thing and it was pretty good. Not a ton of great fish, but good enough and some I'd never seen. Some strong current along the openings in the reef, some shallow and deep areas. I probably spent a good hour swimming, which is good for my arm/shoulder. So that was all very cool and I was tired out and had that "I just swam for quite a while" feel, which I love.

So I grabbed my stuff back off the beach (which I had hoped no one would bother and no one did) and then showered off in cold water (felt great) and then changed. I then went looking for food as I was starving. I figured there might be a shrimp truck or something around. Tif said I could head over to the mall.... but dude... I'm on the beach in HI, I don't want to eat any mall food! :)

I was basically just walking around the park, just watching all the people and the birds, (this dude was walking around with birds all over his arms and shoulders and head. No idea what that was about), people biking, folks sleeping in the shared, little kids swimming. It was just so chill, so cool, so laid back. And so beautiful. It just makes me appreciate the coolness of the Father to look at his creation.

Anyway, I saw some folks carrying to-go boxes and so I knew there had to be some food *somewhere*. I saw this tent and it looked like it had about 15 to 20 folks around it. Seems a little big for a party so maybe there were selling food. As I got close I could see it said "New Hope Christian Center, Oahu". Sounded like Tif's church (it wasn't exactly) and maybe they were selling food or something. So I headed over.

I walk up to this guy and say "Is this New Hope?" and he says "Yeah bra, first time? Sign here and get in line" and I say, "I think this is my daughter and son-in-law's church" and he says "Just sign here and get in line" - so the next thing I know he is saying "First time in line" and this guy is waving at me and they hand me a plate of food. Its all kind of a blur. So I look around and finally realize they are feed folks in the part, mostly (totally?) homeless. So I take the plate of food and the person says "Bless you bra" and I say "Bless you!" and then I go sit down on the beach wall with some other homeless folks and eat my plate of food.

(About this point in the story, as I relate it to Tif, she is just staring at me with her eyes very wide and her mouth kind of open... o.o <== like that. And I just start laughing.)

So I'm sitting there, eating some awesome tasting poke, and a piece of whole wheat bread and some white rice. And its really good. And I'm eating that up, and then 1/2 a chocolate muffin (yeah... not on my diet - but God provided, it must be cool, right?)  So I'm just hanging out on the wall and eating my food with some other folks and the church is packing up and folks are walking by, "Good to see you again Raymond. The meat was pretty good today huh? Make sure and come back!" and then to me "Bless you brother" and I say "Bless you" back. I mean... what was I going to do, say "Hey, its all a mistake! I'm not homeless." Nope, just take what God gives me, and in a way be a blessing to those who gave it to me and ask God to bless them for the work they do.

So anyway, I'm just sitting there... in Hawaii, in the park, in my swimming gear, just having gone snorkeling, eating a plate of food that kind of appeared out of no where - and is just what I was looking for... street food, Hawaiian food. And I'm thinking "Wow... I am so blessed". So blessed in the little things. Now many people probably are shaking their heads about now... but Tif said "Sounds like you dad." and I'll take that. I'm His kid. Some times its the little things... Just sitting on the beach, looking around and just thinking how cool it all is. It wasn't that I couldn't afford to buy lunch, it wasn't that there was no lunch in sight (there was a little cafe about 1/2 block away it turns out). But it was just such an adventure for me. And such a blessing for me. And He does that kind of thing for me all the time. I'm sure He does for others too... although perhaps in a different way. I guess not everyone would think sitting on a beach wall with a bunch of homeless people, eating pork and rice and throwing some bread to the birds, would be the most awesomest thing every... But for me it was.

And then I went and got back in the car and drove over to the "Hawaii Five-O HQ" and took a pic and then headed back to Tif's. Going through the base gate and showing them my pass (I got one yesterday) and getting all choked up when the 18 year old kid with the M-16 checked my id and waved me through... because: a) its a military base, and b) there is this kid guarding it. I told him "Thank you for your service" and he just kind of looked away and said "You're welcome" and waved me through... Which is pretty much what every service person I've said it to acts like. Like embarrassed and that its nothing... but its a *big deal* what they do.

Anyway, sitting my kid's kitchen, typing all this up, and just feeling extremely blessed by my Dad that I get to do this, and that His creation is so cool, and so many of His children are so cool - and just... well everything.

I hope in some way this blesses you (if anyone reads this, lol) and that even if it seems weird to you, that you think about the little things that He does for you, that bless you. That flower poking out of the snow, the sound of your child/grandchild giggling, that picture that you took that captured just what you wanted it to, that... whatever it may be.

Be blessed... I am!