The Chicago Connection

Breakfast with my heavenly Dad was the basis from whence my adventure originated.

After the Notre Dame Texas game, Taylor and I headed for bed. 4:50 comes around twice in 24 hours, but that is more than most people care to think about. It’s me, and I’m defective, so I was wide awake. Since everyone else was asleep in the hotel room, I decided I’d best “play dead” for a while. After about 45 minutes I’d had about all the “playing” I could handle. It was time to get up and out.

I showered and snagged my purse as Taylor came up behind me. “I’m awake, too, mom.” We could have been “playing” in the streets of Chicago instead of “dead” had I known. Oh, well. I told her I was heading down to the lobby of the hotel for my devotions and coffee, she said ok and she was on her way to shower. I was off.

The hotel didn’t even have the coffee brewed yet. I sat in the elegant restaurant, taking in the Chicago style of glass, stainless steel, retro wallpaper and funky furniture. I grabbed my phone and quieted myself listening to my “Dad” speak about a “Nonlinear Route,” from Wisdom Hunters, thinking the entire time how Archie would have loved this one. He was the one who signed us up for this and read the devotional every morning.

Today was about how the path to God/heaven isn’t straight–how true. He went on to speak about how the voice of the Lord is drowned out by the noise around us. He suggested decluttering (one of Archie’s favorite thing on earth to do) to block the noise and hear Him better.

It was almost at that moment the coffee was ready. I got my brew and sat back down, not sure what the next thing was going to be. A voice behind me… .

“Would you like to read a newspaper?” As I turned my head, there stood an 88 years young Chicagoan man, with a twinkle in his eye. “I’d love to,” was my response. “Just make sure to put it back on this table when you’re through,” was the response. He hands me the newspaper with a smile.

I read about how Mother Teresa has now been deemed a saint, that two officers were shot in Chicago the previous night, and so on. I finished and stood up to return the paper to the appointed table, and the gentleman was waiting. We struck up a conversation. Anyone that truly knows me knows there are no strangers, only friends yet to meet.

He is originally from Chicago and lives in one of the high rises, coming to this hotel restaurant every morning for coffee . He was wearing a governmental hat. He was very proud of his career and spoke of homes he used to own in Morocco and Los Vegas, but now it is too difficult to maintain. I asked about his love story. His was not a “happily ever after,” as he was divorced and then lost his former wife, then daughter, to cervical cancer.

He told me he views our time on earth as a bank. In his eyes, you go to the bank and make a withdrawal, 24 hours everyday and that’s all you have to spend. There are no guarantees that the withdrawal that day will not be your last, so spend wisely. We chat for a while longer.

Taylor comes down and joins us. He comments how pretty she is, she smiles. He tells her by the time she’s 20 (she was currently 21, for the next day or two) she will go to the funeral of at least one class member. Her blue eyes soften and she quietly nodes. She has learned there is wisdom in silence. Smart girl.

His son comes in and waves. He hands me his card and asks that the next time we are to town he would like us to call him so he can take us out to  a “nice” restaurant for dinner. We smile. We thank him for the wonderful conversation and with a pat on the shoulder bid farewell to our new found friend. Off to Chicago.

Psalms 16:11 “You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”

Who ever thought that my Heavenly Dad would bring us joy, before the break of dawn, in down town Chicago, by the name of Milton? His timing is amazing.

Until tomorrow: Blessings!




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