Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Eve in Hollywood

I wasn't able to go home for Christmas this year, so in lieu of that and a free Christmas Eve,  I decided to make the most of the day and head to Hollywood with a few other Broken Heart-ers. We didn't do our regular ministry even though it was Thursday, but instead went up much earlier in the day to hang out with some of the people we normally see on Thursdays and Fridays.

We started out at an AA meeting with our friend "Jake", who was receiving a chip for his 30 days of sobriety, the longest he's had since leaving rehab. After celebrating there, we all went out for a bite to eat before we headed to church. Conversation quickly turned to Christ, and his ability to heal and restore and the ultimate power that he has, that not even things like AA can compare to. Because Jake doesn't entirely agree, he and Nick discussed for a while their paths of sobriety, and Nick shared about how he'd experienced coming out of a crazy lifestyle only through the saving grace of Jesus. It was a pretty cool conversation, and even if we disagreed, I think both sides heard each other out well.

Then we headed to Del Taco, where 3 guys were supposed to be meeting us. Turned out to be 5 of them - Bryan, "Ravi", "Rich", Chris and "Tyler". I wasn't sure if Rich would show up, but he came and brought 2 other friends with him. The good thing was that there was a bunch of people, the bad was that we couldn't all fit in Nick's car. So Nick took a few people to church and dropped Jake back off for another meeting, and then came back for the rest of us. But while we were waiting, Rich decided he wanted to change clothes and would hurry back to meet us. We doubted he'd make it back...and I think he made it back in time, but thought we'd already left, so he went to the donut shop where he ran into some other friends. So, when the rest of us met up with Nick, we drove around looking for Rich, couldn't find him, and then just as we saw him and turned around to pick him up in the donut shop, Nick got pulled over for a fix-it ticket! So as he was waiting for the cop to write the ticket, we saw Rich leave with some people, and we couldn't get out and grab him because we were surrounded by cops (apparently fix-its are the most important thing they have to do on a street surrounded with drug dealers, drunk drivers and prostitution).

So, even though he was the person I was most excited about coming with us that night, we ended up losing him. But the rest of us set off to the Hollywood Church anyway for their Christmas Eve service. After church we all headed to the store to pick up some food for dinner...stood in an incredibly long line...and then headed to Antquan's place to make dinner and watch a movie.

For quite a while I've been wanting to have more time to just hang out with people we  meet, to do regular life stuff and share food and homes and get to know each other better than just a couple hours each week. So this time to just be friends and hang out with both people we know well, and some that we don't as well, was awesome.  A great way to spend Christmas...even  if there was all kinds of craziness all day from losing parking tickets, to getting fix-it tickets, to running late to church and losing people and not being able to get the TV to work, to watching the twisted Donnie Darco. I didn't include all of the mishaps...maybe Satan was trying to mess up our day...but it turned out well either way, trying to share the love that Christ came to bring to all  of us. Definitely not my typical warm, cozy, family Christmas Eve in Colorado...but just maybe one of my best Christmas Eve's yet. :)  

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