Home > Lessons in Serving, Uncategorized > Six dollar joy

Six dollar joy

My hard drive crashed this week. Apparently there were signs that this was coming. But I was told to get a mac a few years ago because I’d never have a problem with it. Apparently, even the best of cars need mechanics though and any machine will wear out. And of course, because macs never have any problems, I hadn’t backed up any files. To make things worse, my brand new cell phone decided to try out for the olympics by diving from my open backpack into the wading pool. It’s been a bad week for machines for me. I love to write though and I go a little stircrazy if I can’t write. So alas, I am fighting the slow house computer to write a few thoughts from the day.

Last post, I talked about my experience carrying a bag of empty bottles of beer and wine around the city with Bob. Today, I want to share a story of another friend who also lives on the margins of society – Peter. I know Peter because he plays the djembe drum during our worship service. With his Mormon background, we have had many interesting discussions that often turn into debates. His beliefs make him view women in ways that I do not uphold. But somehow, particularly in the past few weeks, I have earned both his respect and his trust – indeed a treasured position for me, a woman, a Christian.

Today was his birthday. Over the past few weeks, he has shared that birthdays are hard for him and why and that this particular birthday he really wasn’t looking forward to. One of the many reasons is that he has a tradition of djembe drum with a good friend and this year, this tradition would not be carried out. I had planned for the various communities that I have been involved in over the years to gather and take a trip to the island. I suggested to Peter to come as then he would be with people who care about him and not alone on his birthday. Last night, he came to me and said he didn’t think he was able to come after all. Sensing that it probably wouldn’t take much to convince him to come, I asked him why. The issue was money and that he didn’t have enough to make ends meet, let alone cover the cost of the ferry. I told him that it would be covered – a $6 ferry fee is within my budget – I could go without a couple of coffees.

Slightly feeling the aftereffects of the ‘rave in the nave’ party last night, I definitely needed a cup of strong coffee this morning. So our first stop was our local espresso shop that I love and we were able to get a special treat for the ride. Peter got the “Philosopher’s Brew” of tea at my suggestion and with the hopes that this delicious herbal tea would bring him knowledge and wisdom of the great philosophers. You could tell he was a bit in a funk, not fully keen on the idea of going to the island.

Once we arrived at the island, there was a man who stopped us. He was offering a 15minute djembe drum lesson for anyone who was interested for a donation. We all gathered and learned how to play simple rhythms. The instructor had us repeating rhythms back to him. He then ended with some crazy-fast rhythm – and Peter was the only one in the group who was able to think that fast and actually attempt the rhythm. I looked over – and he was glowing.

We returned to shore after a beautiful day in the sun, and he turned to me and said “All in all, considering how hard things are, today was almost perfect.” He was smiling as he said this.

I have to say- this is the best $6 I have spent all week.

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  1. July 2, 2012 at 11:16 am

    A friend sticks closer than a brother (sister). You’re a very good friend. 🙂

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