So we left Sunday morning for Chicago and Matt dropped me off with the boys so I could meet my college friend Mollie and her dad to go sailing. Her dad has a sailboat and offered to take us out for a ride. It was a beautiful day for a sail. Slightly chilly, but not too windy with lots of sunshine. We had a great time!
We walked around downtown a bit before heading back to the hotel and saying good-bye to my friend. Then we crashed for half an hour before Matt got there and we headed out to dinner. We were staying in an Embassy Suites that was just blocks from tons of shopping and restaurants, so choosing where to eat was no simple task. We found a Chinese/Thai place and just as soon as we ordered, Elijah let us know that he had missed his nap that day and was ready for the day to end. I felt a little sorry for the tables of people around us. We were one loud and fussy table.
Monday morning the boys were up by 5:20! I am usually a decaf only coffee drinker, but I went for the caffeine that day. We headed out early to go to Millennium Park and see the Bean.
As we walked down Michigan Ave., I was overwhelmed by the number of homeless people sitting along buildings, holding signs with various pleas for money. As one man asked us for money, I offered to buy him some food. He looked embarrassed and turned down my offer. We went back to our hotel so Elijah could nap and I felt heavy. In small group last week, we were challenged with a simple yet profound concept, which was to approach every person you come into contact with as someone Christ had died for. Simple, yes, but do I live that out regularly? No. But I've been amazed at the amount of ugliness I have in myself when I don't view people this way. So much pride and so much self focus. So as thought about the people I had seen as we walked, and about how Christ had died for them and loved them, I was overwhelmed. When Elijah woke up, we went back out. We passed some of the same people. I felt paralyzed. I wondered what their stories were. We headed to Subway and bought a few sandwiches to offer. One lady was standing outside when we walked out. I asked her if she was hungry. She hadn't eaten all day and was grateful for the offer of food. She asked me if there was mayo on the sandwich. I told her there was, and she asked me to help her scrape it off because she had an allergy. So I gave her money to go back in and get something she could have. She left her money cup with me and asked me to hold her spot because she couldn't lose it. When she came back out, she told me that she is hoping to get into an apartment by Friday. She's been waiting three years to get in. But she has to come up with $59 each month. Her husband was abusive and she left him. She has two kids. They ride the train back and forth at night so they are not sleeping outside. She's afraid of getting caught and losing her kids. When she can come up with $27, she and her kids stay in a cheap motel. Her kids get breakfast and lunch at school, but providing dinner and a place to stay is often impossible, so she does what she has to, which sometimes means selling herself. I felt powerless. My offer of food seemed so trite. But what could I do long term? I prayed with her. I've kept praying for her.
We headed back to Millennium Park and I let Ben take his shoes off and play in the weird face fountain. I rolled his pants up thinking they might stay dry. Ha!! He slipped and fell and had a blast getting soaked from head to toe. The temperature was pretty cold, but he didn't seem to mind.
Elijah was a bit more cautious about the cold water
Elijah did not want Ben to be in the picture. :-)
|Ben was so fun to hang out with on this trip!|
We met a coworker of Matt's for dinner Monday night at Rainforest Cafe. Ben had a great time and wished there were more thunderstorms. Elijah loved the music and was dancing in his high chair.