Nick is not an ordinary person. He lives in a house with a number of people who, together, endeavor to feed the hungry, clothe the poor and actively seek to create peace in one of the neediest neighborhoods in Kansas City. Cherith Brook is the name of the residential Christian community he belongs to, and it is truly awe inspiring to hear about the things that happen there.
Tonight I had the opportunity to share a beer with Nick and ask him all the questions I have wanted to ask ever since I met him. There are obvious questions, like what it’s like to have little to no possessions, to share a car and to live with a small monthly allowance. And then, there are deeper questions about self-reliance, sustainability and long-lasting impact in the community.
Talking with Nick added new meaning to the theme I’ve unexpectedly found myself exploring this month, the idea of disconnecting to connect. He is becoming more of a luddite as he finds true joy in being with and helping others. Every week, he and his coreligionists, open their door to the homeless and less fortunate so they may have a hot shower and a hot meal. Only, he doesn’t refer to them as the homeless or the needy, they are simply friends.
For twelve days now, these are the kinds of conversations I have been fortunate to have. The moments I’ve spent with friends and loved ones over a beer this month have been some of the most edifying and rewarding moments I’ve had in a long time. The gift of someone’s time, is truly the greatest gift of all, and I don’t take it for granted.
Oh, the beer! I nearly forgot to mention it. I couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate brew for the evening. The luscious, deep, creamy sweetness of the Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout was the perfect accompaniment to our visit. Cheers!