Sunday, September 20, 2009

Liberace and Mr. T's Love Child

My Best Friend, Russell Holloway wrote this amazing post. I didn't ask him for permission to post this. Don't tell him. Thanks.

"God created us to be relational beings. When we are at our best we are conduits of God’s love.

Three years ago I walked into the Port Orange YMCA and saw a man sitting in the lobby by himself, sipping coffee out of a Styrofoam cup, who at first glace reminded me of Liberace and Mr. T’s love child.

Harvey had all kinds of rings on his fingers and jewelry hanging from his ears. He seemed a little sad, but Harvey told stories, one after the other, in his loud and aggressive New York City accent. When he made an important point he waved his fingers in the air like a piano player hitting a keyboard. Interesting guy. Because we both like to tell stories, we became instant friends.

Most of the last year Harvey has been up in Queens taking care of his 94-year-old mother. We sat in the backyard this afternoon with our other friend, Mike Ellis, and talked about musicians like, Johnny Hartman, Keely Smith, and Louis Prima. Later we got on the computer and listened to them sing, amazing. Harvey produced two Grammy winning albums for Eddie Palmarie back in the day. He knows more than most on the subject of music. (See CD cover above featuring a much younger Harvey)

When we were alone Harvey looked me in the eye and told me that the people in Port Orange saved his life three years ago. Fame for Harvey had come and gone . . . it was love and kindness . . . God’s love, moving through the people Harvey met, who changed his life.

You have the power to change someone’s life, even if with nothing more than a smile.

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27).

Jesus was talking about these things in the context of the Holy Spirit working in us and through us. Harvey’s life has been changed because a group of strangers reached out to him, unconditionally, in love . . . in our Savior’s name.

. . . Father, thank you for Harvey and thank You for being a God who loves us. Father command our spirits to be open to opportunities to change people's lives just by using kindness. When Your love flows through us it is an amazing thing. We praise You and pray to You in Jesus name . . . "

You can follow my fellow messed-up Christ Follower Russell Holloway on Twitter. His Twitter Nick is @LuvStomp. He has a blog too. His blog is much better than mine. My blog is really messed-up and so am I.

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