This is going to be a weird post, but I'm weird and I live in a weird area of town.
For those of you who don't know, I live in the ghetto. I'm not exaggerating here at all. Most of the customers at the Taco Bell that I work at are strung out, homeless, or prostitutes. Many times they are all three. I'm seeing a different side of life than one I grew up in, and I'm exposed to much more than I've ever been. I'm a country boy in the "big city" of Charlotte.
One of our normal customers is a cross dresser named Apple. Apple dresses like a woman, but is a man, and sells himself every night. Apple is banned from most of the restaurants down the street, so he find himself in Taco Bell a lot. We are always having to wake Apple up because he works all night and has no place to live. Apple is the sweetest customer we have, which is why we tolerate him sleeping in the lobby on slow mornings. Apple has some crazy friends that hang out with him, including his boyfriend and another crossdresser.
I see this crowd all hours of the night as I'm going to and from work, and it's quite obvious how they get their money. They stay in a hotel when they get enough, but it's nothing for them to go a few days with any sleep.
I'm sure Apple is not Apples real name, but that's all I know him by so that's what we'll call him. Anyways, now that all the background information is out of the way, I wanted to start sharing my experience today. Apple was the first customer of the day, and had just left when I left at 4:30. He slept for a few hours on and off and kept ordering food. When I was cleaning the lobby I asked him how he was. He told me he was worn out.
He had a crazy night the night before. (I'm pretty sure all of his nights are crazy.) Her exact words were "Der was dis main shooten paaple urp n da hertells round her, so i hadda find ma bayfrand and get ma monay safe! I was runna far ma life and this white man was chassen after me. I was like ohhh naw, not tonight mathaf***er. I turn round and show em urp. I aint got no d@^^m sleep last night"
If you need a translation : There was a man shooting people in the hotel last night around here, so I found my boy friend and I gave him my money to keep it safe. I was running for my life but then I turned and fought back, but I did not get any sleep at all.
This was the first time we talked other than "May I take your order, please." I take hundreds of orders a day, and everyone blurs together and I just see them as an order to fill and get out the window and to the front counter. After this conversation with Apple, I realized that Justin and I are the only light shining in the darkness. The people around here are hopeless, but it's been changing in our apartment complex. My next door neighbor, who also sells drugs, told me that she never saw kids playing till this year. Now the kids are all over the place because it's safer. All that's happened is two crazy white people moved in and started keeping the place clean. I got tired of seeing condoms all over the place, so I started keeping the parking lots clean and the children came out. There is something spiritual about children being out the brings light and the presence of the Father down. This apartment complex is a huge untouched mission field that no one is trying to reach. I mean at all. There are literally kids here that have never heard the name of Jesus! Talking to Apple today broke my heart because Apple is better than the life he is choosing to live. I could never live that lifestyle, and I know it takes it toll on him. It also breaks the heart of our Father. Abba LOVES and ADORES Apple. He wants to hold Apple in His arms and be the father that Apple never had. So in my journey right now, I am in a place where I can and I have to make a difference. I'm excited because I'm making July the start of the mission minded living, and I'm going to start pouring my money, energy and time into the people around us.