Posted by: Aaron Padgett | June 28, 2008

A Lesson Learned Over Cards and Spaghetti

Sharing meals is such an amazing experience. Jesus did it all the time back in his day with people of all different social and racial classes. If you took a step back into the time of Jesus there’s no doubt that you’d find him hanging out with the losers, diseased, or unlovable. He intentionally set out to befriend and deeply love the “lesser” people of society. Tonight the guys and I invited two Jeff Street residents over to eat some spaghetti and spend time together with us in our apartment. We had no idea how great of a time we were going to have. Simply preparing and eating a meal with folks that you would never think to hang out with can open so many doors for conversation. These were two guys that are pretty well beyond our age, that on first glance would make you think that we have nothing in common at all, and also are diagnosed with some type of mental illness.

But that shouldn’t divide us.

We’re still people.

We’re all broken, struggling, wandering, suffering, messy people.

Sitting there and talking to these guys tonight made me realize how selfish it is to stay confined to what we know, who we know, and what keeps us comfortable. When we do this, which we have to admit is most of the time, we aren’t living in the same light as Christ. We should really seize opportunities to step outside of our comfortable lives and put others before us once in a while, even though it’s a real struggle sometimes. Time after time we let our human…ness get in the way (and controlling this is especially hard for me). But that’s exactly what Jesus did. When we climb out of our comfort zones and strive to resemble Jesus in our actions, the blessings that God continually pours into our lives and the lives of those around us are obvious.

We’re all learning a lot from each other at Jeff Street. God has been teaching me so much and I’m having a great time throughout it all. Who would have thought I’d have such fun playing cards, drinking coffee, and taking photos with a couple of guys with schizophrenic and depressive disorders?

I didn’t.

But I guess I’m learning a lot about myself that I didn’t know.

Thanks for reading and keep our team in your prayers.


  1. this is great. i’m so jealous of what your getting to do. your post made me miss my former patients at the hospital. they taught me a lot about living and loving

  2. you are making us very proud and making a difference in the world and in the lives of these people at jeff street

    just remember that talking to and especially listening to others means a lot

    we love you

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