'When you are Real you don't mind being hurt.' 'Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,' he asked, 'or bit by bit?' 'It doesn't happen all at once,' said the Skin Horse. 'You become. It takes a long time.' Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit
So it’s taken longer than I’d hoped but here are the rest of the pictures from my trip to Mexico City…
There are a couple from the tianguis (traveling street market), some of our team working at a drop in center for homeless youth, one more from the pyramid, and the rest are from the Basilica of the Virgin de Guadalupe.
I spent last week on a mission trip in Mexico City and it was amazing! I’ve just started going through and editing pictures but I thought I’d go ahead and post a few. These are just places and scenes really, not much to do with the trip itself, but I’ll get there…
Over the last couple of weeks I had a situation come up where I felt God calling me to share some things about my life that I haven’t thought about in a long time. I spent quite a bit of time thinking, remembering, and writing out what I would talk about… and it was hard.
As I was sifting through memories of bad decisions and experiences, I thought about people I spent time with and wondered how they might have turned out over the subsequent years. I considered how much my life has changed over the last 10, 15, 20 years and imagined… and hoped… that theirs had too.
I thought mostly about my friend Nick.
I met Nick my freshman year of high school when he was dating a friend of mine. They broke up but he and I stayed friends, going out on weekends and drinking and partying with friends. He was a couple of years ahead of me but we stayed friends when he went off to college out of state, going out and partying when he’d come into town on breaks. We stayed friends through getting married, having kids, getting jobs…. growing up! He was a troublemaker who always had a smile on his face and plan for a good time.
Some of my favorite memories involve Nick and some kind of ridiculous hijinks instigated by him over the course of our 20+ year friendship. I could tell him anything and know that I’d get the truth, without judgment (but possibly some teasing).
A few years ago, Nick got divorced and his life changed quite a bit. His wife and I never got along very well I’m afraid, but the divorce cut his free spirit free of any and all tethers to a stable life and Nick lost his footing. His drinking and partying, which had abated during the family years, stepped back up and he hooked back up with some old friends from past days. I was concerned, but I didn’t push the issue… he was Nick, and he was invincible. While I had moved on from that lifestyle, I wasn’t going to judge him for it. Then he moved in with a girl and saw his sons less and less, and I grew even more worried. The time between our visits grew longer, but he was still there for me.
And then he wasn’t. Almost 2 years ago he suddenly had a massive stroke one day at work and died instantly at 39 years old.
Now I wonder, did he regret the choices he was making? Did his choices lead to what happened? Was he happy?
The obvious message here is to treasure the people in our lives because they can be gone at any time. And that’s true. But something we were talking about in our class at church this morning was that we could be gone at any moment and that we should live as though that were the case.
“You don’t really know about tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears only for a short while before it vanishes.” James 4:14
I miss my friend. A lot. But he reminds me that I could be gone in an instant, and that I need to take care that I live my life intentionally and leave a legacy of love.
She will now never know justice, because you, a vice cop who knows this game, decided to pick up a prostitute.
Really? You’re involved in prosecuting a trafficking case and this is what you’re doing in your spare time?
Now a 23 year old girl who was trying to turn her life around after years of pain and abuse will never be proven a victim. Now she’ll have to stand beside her trafficker and face charges too because he’d had her so long he had her overseeing his other girls. And she’s facing life in prison because you screwed her over.
And now that she knows her case has been thrown out and that the one pending against her is going to go forward, she’s gone off the rails because she’s not done healing. It’s only been 14 months since she came out of the life and that can’t erase a lifetime of abuse. She’s scared and she’s making bad decisions and it’s getting ugly.
I hope you’re happy. I’m sure your badge will keep you from any actual jail time. You may get bumped out of vice for a while, but that thin blue line isn’t so thin really. You’ll be fine.