Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Peirson

Last night, while waiting for a friend to meet me at Frisch's, I had a very strange encounter with an employee, a guy who I had went to college with. I'm horrible with names, but for some reason I remembered this one. When I called his name, he turned to make eye contact and the look on his face was one of confusion. I said, "You probably don't remember me."

He said, "You look familiar." I guess that's what you're supposed to say when you can't remember someones name.

"I'm Chad Doerr. We went to KCC together."

It was then that the encounter took a weird turn. I think he may have nodded, but without saying a word, he turned around and headed for the kitchen. That was it. No, "How have you been? What brings you to Louisville? Have you come for a hot fudge cake?" Nothing.

As he headed for the kitchen I was flipping through my mental archive, trying to remember of a time in college that I may have offended him. Obviously, something was wrong.

I took a seat and waited for my friend but I couldn't seem to get this guy off my mind. I had this deep feeling that my fellow alum was now distant from the Lord and I was simply a reminder of a former life with Christ. I don't know why I felt this, but I just did.

Well, about ten minutes later, he passed by my table and I mustered up the courage to ask him how he was doing. That was hard, knowing I had just been blown off a few minutes earlier. But my heart was heavy for this young man and I wanted to get to the bottom of it. I asked him how he was doing, told him about Amy's death (they were in the music program together and he had no idea she had went to be with the Lord) and finally asked him if he was connected with a church in Louisville. That's when he shook his head in disgust and when I asked him why, he explained he was tired of the church politics.

As he walked away, I felt so sad for him. Ten years ago he was a vibrant young college student pursuing a Christian education and was seldom seen without a smile on his face. A decade later, he's working at Frisch's, has left the church and struggled to manufacture a smile. How sad!

I've continued to think of Pierson through the day. I believe he has a story and I so want to hear it. I want to share a Big Boy and just listen. I want to help him come back to Jesus. I don't know what is wrong but he seemed so lost.

Please pray that God would provide further opportunities to visit with my friend Peirson.

18 comments:

ghanson said...

I had an experience this evening from which I'm just now returning. I was standing at a bus stop, and the bus I was going to take left in either 10 minutes, or the last bus was an hour and five minutes out.

I struck up a conversation with a man, and asked him where he was going - turns out he's homeless, and didn't want to arrive at the place where he camps until after dark, to avoid being detected.

"Really - you're homeless. How's that going for you?"

"Well, the Lord provides."

"The Lord's about to provide dinner for you, come with me."

So we went into a nearby restaurant, where he proceeded to talk about his life. It's a tough go of it, but he seemed content. I prayed aloud over the food when it arrived and we had a nice conversation over dinner. We talked about how he found the Lord, how he depends on Him for his daily provisions, and just how basic life is. In Jesus, we had a bond was there - well, right away. Never mind our stations in life, Jesus was in our midst.

After dinner, we both walked back to the bus stop, and as we parted ways, we learned that we were the same age, within 13 days. My bus arrived, and that's the thought I was left with. Two babies brought into the world at the same time, and here's where we cross paths on the journey so far. Since he lives out in the woods, no kidding - on rabbits and squirrels and whatever else is out in these woods, I'm quite sure I'll not see John (that's his name) again on this side of eternity, but I know I'll meet him in heaven. If I had to guess, I'd say that he'll be there first....yep.....but it's interesting how life goes....

Without Jesus, how else would some of us connect?

Mike said...

Chad, I remember Peirson. You are right, he was often seen laughing, being a very joyful person. It saddens me to think that something within the church killed that joy. Often our church politics, beuracracies, and dogmas get in the way of really loving and empowering people to life in the Kingdom. I am praying for Peirson and for you as you may have just been given an opportunity to bring a lost brother home.

Chad Doerr said...

Glen, what an awesome story. Way to grab hold of a divine opportunity!

Anonymous said...

First of all I could hardly get past that you felt he needed to stop and have a conversation with you...after all, he was at work. But then I wondered what bothered you most..that he turned from the church, didn't smile or worked at Frisch's? Just because a person works at a place that you might not deam as the best place in the world to work, does not mean that their religious beliefs are anything different than they were. Just because they don't smile does not mean that either. Also, was everyone who went to college with you supposed to have traveled the same path as you? Gee some of us can have our faith and still work at Frisch's or McDonald's for that matter. I think its thinking such as yours that makes some of us stop going to our churches. Possibly what Peirson meant by church politics?

Chad Doerr said...

Anonymous, I think you've missed my heart on the matter. I shared the story because my heart was heavy as I considered why someone who was once connected to the church is no longer connected. There's a reason this happens.

I'm concerned about someone who at one time in their life was never seen without a smile and now is finding it difficult. There's a reason for that.

And as far as Frisch's...I don't know the story and why he's working there. For all I know it could be a second job. But let's be honest, I don't think he pursued a college degree to wait tables the rest of his life. Though there is absolutely nothing wrong with that profession, something hasn't worked out like he dreamed they would. He has a story to tell and all I'm saying is that I want to hear it. Not to condemn him, but to love him.

Whatever the case, if you want to beat me to Frisch's maybe you can reach him in a way that I can't. Maybe he is a-okay and I've completely missed the mark. But right now, my heart is heavy for him and I won't stop until I've heard his story.

Anonymous said...

IT PROBABLY EMBARRASED HIM TO SEE
YOU BECAUSE HE IS NOW WORKING AT
FRISCH'S. THANK GOD FOR PLACES
SUCH AS THESE, BECAUSE WHERE WOULD
THE GREAT CHRISTIANS HAVE TO GO
TO EAT AFTER CHURCH? I HAVE WORKED
IN FOOD BUSINESS AND SOME OF THE
MOST RUDE AND DIFFICULT PERSONS
I HAVE SERVED ARE THE PEOPLE CALLLED CHRISTIANS.

Anonymous said...

whoa there anonymous,I am sorry you feel the need to condemn a good persons genuine heart and thoughts, and/or motives. I have to say I have known Chad for many many years, and there is NOT a MEAN bone in his body, and when Chad says his heart hurts for another person, You can be sure Chad's heart is hurting for another person. Chad has been through more pain in his young 30+ years than most have in 50 years.

Church politics for Chad??????? LET ME TELL YOU, CHAD IS THE REAL DEAL! I am sorry you are hurting so much, and I really do mean that. Been there/done that!

JESSE said...

Chad- i have often wondered where Peirson was now. if you do run into him and you think of it, will you tell him that Jesse McPhail says hi....i would love to get in contact with him again. you have gotten an interesting response on this entry! i think those with angry answers arent fully understanding your stance. i understood you to have concern not judgement. you could have just as easily been concerned for P if you were a minister or a water dept worker, but because you are a minister your concern is turned into judgement. anyway, if you do run into him again, i hope you remember to mention my hello..take care!
Jesse

violet said...

What is wrong with you anonymous? Chad is one of the greatest men I have had the pleasure to meet..He was our minister at Antioch..And a fine young man he is..He has been through more in his short life time, then most of us will ever see..He changed my life and for the better...We miss him greatly..and besides if you were so sure of your convictions, why didnt you sign your name....

Anonymous said...

I agree there are too many politics involved in church and judgement on others, we just don't talk about it that much because it stains the everything is great mentality.

Anonymous said...

way to go there violet, being antagonistic is another great way to show your christian love. Ever think more than one person is anonymous? Anyone can sign that way.

drmacab97 said...

Wow...I've been following this entry b/c I too remember Peirson. I think it is Peirson himself leaving some of the 'anonymous' comments. Even if it's not I just feel like signing anything as 'anonymous' just means you have no courage or confidence in who you are. Get real! Be who you are and proud of it! Say what you want to say but don't hide behind the protection of remaining anonymous...that just turns what I'm sure you consider 'bold' comments into cowardly ramblings that simply don't make sense and no one respects.

In response to the first 'anonymous' message. Chad never said Peirson had stepped away from the Church "b/c of Frisch's"-why are you so defensive?...and of course he should've said hi to Chad! That's what Christians do! Are you bothered with the church too or something? If you know someone from your past it certainly isn't Christ-like to walk away. Chad wasn't 'assuming' that Peirson's religious beliefs were different than they had been 'b/c' he worked at Frisch's...he simply went by what Peirson himself had said - that he wasn't in church anymore b/c of the politics! It has nothing to do with the job and everything to do with the heart. That, I believe, is Chad's point. This man's heart has changed...period. He would've never written this post if he had run into Peirson and Peirson had been like, "hey man! I only have a second but how are ya doin...yep, I've been working here for a while, I love it and am finding ways to witness..." but instead he said he was tired of the church-that's it...that's what is hurting Chad's heart. He needs JESUS!

On a positive note, Chad I'm proud of you for listening to God's spirit in this situation. For real...it takes courage to do what you did after being blown off. I'd also just like to say HI JESSE!!! It's been FOREVER! -Mary Bondurant

Jesse said...

hi mary!!!!

i cant believe im commenting again, but i feel like there is just some big confusion. bottom line is everyones life takes a diffferent turn no matter where you start from. As a christian your job is to love everyone, right where they are in time and then follow your heart about what to say. its not ours to judge. when you are a christian and you take a path that leads away from God, you ALWAYS feel judged by your christian peers. you just do, whether or not you should. and there will be christian who do judge you wheter or not they should. but most really just care about the person.
if im reading chads original thoughts right - he wasnt judging him, as a minister though his thoughts were if he was ok and what has happend in his life that he feels like he cant or doesnt want to say hello to an old college friend. everyone is entitled to their opinion, but some would do well to remember this is chads space to write what is on his heart.

violet said...

This could go on and on....Like I said...(anonymous) knew who I was talking about...Be straight forward and sign your name...At least I wasn't hiding behind ANONYMOUS..I said what I thought and signed my name too it...Sorry Chad if I offended you in anyway, but you know me and I say what I think and what I mean....and I am truthfull about it....

Anonymous said...

I think that Peirson's issue at KCC was that he was different. In the real world of Christianity the fact that he was unique wouldn't be an issue. He may fit in differently now at KCC since KCC has evolved.

Chad did have a good point. There is a difference between heading towards a degree or two and being 30+ and working tables. It's just two very different directions in life.

Brian

Lonnie said...

I have a new ring tone...

Anonymous said...

Anyone who read Chad’s post and looked at it differently then what it was, a person who loved people and had a genuine concern for an old acquaintance is reading it with a warped point of view obviously because of personal issues. I will pray for them.

I think any of us as a loving Christian who would run into an old acquaintance and say hello, get an obvious cold shoulder would wonder what happened. The fact that he is following a career path he probably didn’t intend is just a possibility. However when you couple that with his response to Chad it would seem very likely this was not the path this young man was originally intending. So there is a realistic cause for prayer and concern.
Darrel

Vicki said...

Wow! Since when does it matter where we are when we "minister" to someone we're concerned about? Chad is our "minister" because we hired him to be such. However, I would be sorely disappointed if he only "worked" inside our church building. God bless you, Chad, for being bold wherever you are, for having compassion for your fellow man whether he's still a christian or whether he's not so sure anymore, and for having such strong convictions when it comes to hurting souls. And as for anonymous, I pray that you find peace in whatever is hurting you.