Archive for September 9th, 2009
i wish i had read this story when you told me you posted it but i’m also glad that i am just now reading it. i like this story a lot. i feel like this sometimes…i talk to people, give what i have,…..but not often enough….too often i am in a hurry…stressed out from things that don’t mean anything more then ‘freddy’ wanting something to eat…awesome story is all i have to say…obviously not all but all i have for now
Yesterday was pretty normal. I worked at MetroMerge until mid-afternoon, and then worked at the house for a bit, and then had to go pick up some stuff downtown with Gisele for the rest of the afternoon. Design-wise, I worked a lot in Illustrator on the Green My Hood logos, and got some pretty solid, safe/modern logo sets done that I’m really pleased with. They are conceptual/abstract, but not too far out there. I used negative space by taking a square and reversing out certain spots to make what appears to be a white-picket fence stand out from the page, and there is a green vine stretching across the fence, thus “greening” the neighborhood.
Today was good too. I worked at the house all day. I made some logo concepts for Plywood in Photoshop. I played to the strength of the brand’s name and placed a long, green rectangle over a stock image of painted-white plywood (giving it a very modern look and feel, instead of just natural grain) and multiplied the layer, making the plywood grains show through the green box. I selected the edges of the different fonts and deleted the selection from the green box, so that the word “Plywood” was negative space that showed all of the wood underneath. I’ve always loved typography, but this project has really started making me think about font choices. I’m down to Titillium, Titling, or Zag on this project. They’re all very modern. I also made a new concept (the “far out/too creative for you” concept) for Green My Hood. It looks like someone laid down stencils for the words (but the font is ultra-mod and quirky, and the stencils are very angular and irregularly shaped) and spray-painted over it, leaving clean stencil lines, but a lot of spray paint all around them. I have several spray paint brushes in Photoshop, so I was able to do the whole composition without borrowing any vectors from online.
Ok. Now here’s the not-so-boring stuff I’d actually like to write about.
Jeff and Andre are out for meetings/dinner tonight, so I decided I would look up Chic-Fil-A on Google Maps and make the long trek up to the Old Fourth Ward to feast upon the greatest food known to mankind.
They say that they fry their chicken in peanut oil. I say that they fry them in the tears of the Almighty.
The Chic-Fil-A in the Old Fourth Ward is in a hospital, but I parked across the street at a gas station to just walk the rest of the way. As I was pulling in to park, an old man in tattered clothes and a too-big-for-his-head ballcap saw me. You know, homeless people don’t stop and talk to everyone. They watch plenty of people walk by everyday. But they always stop and talk to me. Perhaps I have “sucker” written across my forehead, and am unaware. But I waved as the old man started walking over to my car. I got out, and he immediately started chatting with me. But it wasn’t small talk – within a few sentences, he started recounting the Biblical stories to me.
All of them.
We talked about Solomon and all of his wives, and then we talked about Jonah, and then we talked about Noah, and then about Paul getting shipwrecked (“He had that snake come up on his arm and – ou wee!”). His name was Freddy, and it was obvious that he loved God; in between all of his Bible stories he would tell me parts of his personal life story, and at the end of every telling he would just say, “God is so good to me.” And as he concluded the conversation, he said, “Russ, if you don’t even pray for yourself, at least pray for me. Because prayer… Prayer can change everything.”
God, be with Freddy.
He insisted that we walk over to Chic-Fil-A together (“A man’s got to eat! And I love to eat!”), so we crossed the street and headed to the hospital. Chic-Fil-A was closed, but Freddy said that the hospital’s kitchen was better than Chic-Fil-A anyway. So we walked through the hospital and downstairs to the kitchen, and as we opened the doors to the café and the aroma of fresh foods tickled our noses, Freddy’s old, tired eyes lit up and he hurried me to the counter. He started ordering all that he wanted in his to-go box (which was basically everything that they had laying out, with “two of” more than a few of them). The box was bursting at the edges by the time he got his drink. When we rang up the grand total… Well, let’s just say it wasn’t cheap. Freddy said, “Oh, man. I’m so sorry. I hope I haven’t put you out.” I insisted that it was okay, but I kind of thought to myself, “I wonder if I can keep doing this for people…”
We walked back to the gas station, and started to part ways. He thanked me and blessed me, and said, “Not everyone will talk to me like this. Not everyone is willing to listen to me. I thank you for listening to me. And I thank you for the food.” As we were saying goodbye, a guy there at the gas station interrupted and said, “Excuse me, are you here with these people?” He motioned towards a group of snobby-looking white people standing around an expensive car there in the lot. “No,” I replied, “No I’m not.” Freddy interjected here, “He’s not with them. He’s with God.”
Thanks, Freddy. I think you are too, for the record.
“Well, in that case, do you have any change that I could have to get food for me and my daughter, Camilla?” the man (named Eddie) asked. “I see that you bought this food for this man, and so I hate to ask it of you, but if you could help us, I’d really appreciate it.” I told him I’d give him all the change in my pocket, and I did. I dumped the assortment into his hand and said, “Sorry, it’s not much.” He smiled really big and said, “No, man. This looks like a little over a dollar! This is great!”
God, forgive me when I get so complacent and, frankly, American that I treat change like it’s not that big of a deal.
Camilla was a little too ashamed to be begging to look at me, but Eddie shook my hand, thanked and blessed me and left. I said goodbye to Freddy, and got in my car. Then Greg knocked on my window and said he needed some change for the bus. I told him, honestly, that I didn’t have it, because I had bought Freddy food, and gave change to Eddie and Camilla. He understood, and thanked me anyway (and gave me a fist bump; cool) and we parted ways.
There is so much need in this world. And I have got to be willing to open up and try to help with it. You know, driving back tonight, I thought to myself more about the issue of whether or not I could keep up giving to others like this. I don’t exactly make a lot of money. But I think that the real issue is not whether or not I can; it’s whether or not I can and still maintain the same standard of living that I have come to enjoy. And perhaps the answer is no, I cannot keep giving and have the same financial standards. But perhaps “having enough” has NOTHING to do with my standard of living – it just has to do with having enough for living. So I am okay with perhaps lowering my standard of living to bring others up to just the level of “living.” I got some cheap, greasy Chinese off of Moreland for dinner (God, please let that not have been sweet-and-sour cat), but I am very okay with that. And I think that I will enjoy my sucky dinner more, because I can know that Freddy is out there enjoying a box full of food, and hopefully Eddie and Camilla have got something to eat as well. And I hope Greg made it home safely. And I hope that all of those who are suffering and in need in the world tonight will be able to find some rescue and relief.
And I hope that you are willing to be the answer to their prayers to bring it to them.