Today as I sit by my bench in my humble little guitar shop, with no one around to talk to, to pat me on the back, to motivate me to move and dream, I run across this article. Four years ago today was the last day I spent with my son. It was a really bad day, one that will haunt me the rest of my life. He was a college graduate with a degree, but there were no jobs out there, especially for him. He was troubled, traumatized, had a record, was a recovering addict. He could have pastored a church with his record, but couldn’t clean toilets at Home Depot for a wage and benefits.
The last time he was in jail and was close to getting out he asked me for help. I need a safe place to live, a job so I don’t violate probation, a ride to meetings and appointments. We had done this many times before and I agreed to try it again. I was even more willing this time than ever before. I sensed hope. He had hope in himself. I didn’t hesitate to answer him with my commitment to help. I told him I could do all those things but I didn’t have much money, but his mother and I had all kinds of love we could give him. That sounded good to him.
He could relate to what i do for a living. It’s a trade, a skill, a craft and it’s art. I don’t have initials behind my name but I have two pieces of paper on my wall that state that I trained to do something with my hands, eyes, ears and mind. I was more fortunate than most. I received a great education from Red Wing tech. 24 solid months of school. Then to get a job at Gruhn Guitars here in Nashville. No one from my school had ever gotten a job there. The time I spent there was so valuable to further my learning in my craft. Everyday I learn something new.
When I struggle with feeling relevant and worthy at times, the one thing that snaps me out of it was that this job was there for Erik when nothing else was. It was there to give him security,support and some pride in himself. He was doing such good work for me the last six months of his life. I was telling Cindy the other day what it was like to have him here, what we talked about, our dreams. In that conversation I told her about s design I had come up with but wasn’t totally happy with it and I missed Erik and wished he was here. She said, He is Dan, he’s with you all the time, remember that.
Yesterday I talked to a young man who had been through some serious hell and has come out the other side of it. He now works with his Dad in their tiny little restaurant Papa Boudreaux’s. I didn’t see the signs that say they only to took checks or cash. He told me to just send a check. He then came back to our table and said, the meals on me, don’t worry about it, come back and see us again. This was before he shared his story with us. When we arrived he came to our table and told us all about their food. I was connecting with him because I saw an incredible passion in what he and his father were doing. It meant everything to them. It’s simple yet incredibly complex. It may be just beans and rice but when you add love and attention and excellence it becomes glorious. I am so thankful to have crossed their path. Thank you Lord for this journey and the people in it. There is more to riches, than money.