"Move it, mister!”
It was 8:01 P.M., and I was being particularly curt with my friend DeCarlo.
“Got your coat? Got your hat? Come on, let’s go. Go, go, go,” I badgered.
I was DeCarlo’s ride home from Reality Ministries, a community center for people with and without disabilities, and I was itchy to get out the door. Over the previous 90 minutes, we’d eaten pizza, shared, sung, watched silly skits, and heard a short Bible message.
Wait, did I mention it was noisy?
When I say noisy, I mean there were 100 people in the room, and, at any given moment, 87 of them were speaking. Loudly. So although the love and joy and smiles at Reality were a true slice of heaven, for someone like me—an introvert, overwhelmed by more than one stimulus, who’s most vivified by thinking creative thoughts in a chamber of silence—it had become a hard space in which to be.
It was difficult to gather my thoughts.
I became distressed.
I felt undone.
I was short-tempered.
It was hard to be my best self.
Most Tuesday nights I teetered between wanting to shove a fork in my own eye and plunging it into someone else’s.
That evening, when I was unglued and crabby with my good friend DeCarlo, became a turning point in understanding how God had made me and how God calls me to serve. It let me know that the opportunity to “minister” in a crowd of 100 people—who were guaranteed to speak to me, and high-five me, and shout at me, and hug me, usually simultaneously—might not have my name on it.1