It seemed odd. In one week, I met two new friends, both named Travis.
Meet Travis 1, Travis 2
It’s Friday afternoon. He says, “My name is Travis. But you can call me Trav.”
On Saturday morning, a different place, a different person. . .
He says, “My name is Travis. But you can call me T. Or T-Bone.”
Friend 1 is a pastor of a Methodist church in my hometown.
Friend 2 is a homeless man looking for a ride to his family in Florence, an hour down the road.
Friend 1 is at school reading with Jenna’s 1st graders.
Friend 2 is at Outdoor Church killing time.
At first glance, you’d think they have nothing in common.
- Friend 1, Trav, is white; Friend 2, T-Bone is black.
- Trav likely lives in a nice home in a nice neighborhood. T-Bone plans to sleep at the Salvation Army.
- Trav and I lack time to converse much, but T-Bone unravels his story all morning.
Alike or Different?
They both are very polite to me. They both are likely around the same age. It doesn’t come up with Trav, but T-Bone volunteers that he is 36.
But T-Bone has had a really bad week. He says he needs some lifting up. He says he can tell when he meets someone if they’ll uplift his spirit. He’s here today for that, hoping for that. I assure him he’s come to the right place.
He tells me about his girlfriend (she’s about to break up with him, he feels it; he wants to break up first). About his grandma. About being an Ohio State fan.
T-Bone talks about the nitty gritty of life. Openness happens when other things are stripped away, when you’re wondering where your next meal will come from.
I ask him if he’ll stay for lunch after Outdoor Church and he says he might as well; he has nowhere else to be.
But the more I talk to T-Bone on this Saturday morning, and think back to Trav on Friday afternoon, the more curious I am about their commonalities.
Sometimes outward differences blind us to likenesses. Our preconceived stereotypes pile on. Surface-level judgments cause us to miss community.
And Then Faith
And then T-Bone tells me about his faith.
That’s when the similarities between the two Travis’s come more into focus.
While Trav doesn’t say anything about his faith, I hope and assume he has a full one since he’s a Christian pastor. But T-bone is vocal about his. He says that through the storms, he knows he has Jesus.
I ask T-Bone where he got his faith. He says his grandma, definitely his grandma.
I haven’t seen T-Bone since that Saturday morning, nor Travis since that Friday afternoon. Our paths may not cross again this side of heaven.
But I’m glad they crossed so close in time that one week in December. So we could meet each other. Hear a little piece of each other’s story. And see what we had in common.
Everybody has something in common with everybody else.
Maybe a name. Maybe an age.
Maybe a Savior.
* * *
Do you share a name with any of your friends? Do you have friends who are totally opposite? Please share in the comments.