Deacon Rob Lewis shares an update about a friend of All Souls.
Two Sundays ago, Chris Morgan took communion for the first time at All Souls. He broke our COVID rule of essential participants only, so his receiving was all the more noticeable. To those of us who know Chris, it was also deeply moving. After two years on the fringes of our community, he has come to our table. He has joined our family. [You can read more of his story in previous blog posts here and here.)
Over the past two years, we have given Chris countless gas and grocery store gift cards. We have paid for rental space for his camper at Hideaway Lakes campground, emergency stays at local motels, repairs on his truck. We have bought Christmas presents for his children and birthday cakes from Jewel. Jim Schroeder recently loaned him a generator. I have met Chris at McDonalds, Dunkin Donuts, Rosati’s Pizza, a Red Roof Inn, a Motel Six, several auto part stores, and dilapidated auto garages in Aurora and West Chicago.
Chris has several times asked me to help friends who were in distress. I once redirected my purchases for the food pantry to an effusive woman named Brenda, who wept and hugged me when I met her. Chris had taken her into his tiny camper when she was evicted from her apartment. Another time, I helped him buy a birthday cake for an elderly woman in his campground community. “So at least she has something to make her feel a little bit happy, and knows that someone cares about her,” Chris told me.
Chris called me three weeks ago. I could hear the excitement in his voice. “Guess what? I got a job. An oil company in Texas I applied to a year ago just called to tell me they could use me. I’m driving down in two weeks. I’ll be down there for six months.” I asked about his family. “Everybody’s excited. Devon especially. I can finally get him a few things he’s always wanted.”
On behalf of his family and friends, Chris has been persistent as the widow who kept coming at the judge in Luke 18:3. At times I perhaps have been as exasperated as the judge. I have ignored as many of Chris’ calls as I have taken.
And I suppose we also have persisted, supporting Chris and his family as they have skittered on the edge of homelessness.
Through it all, God’s goodness and kindness prevails. Chris is communing with us and able to support his family, who have recently moved out of their camper into a house.
I am grateful for the members of All Souls who have so faithfully and kindly opened their hearts to Chris.