Meet Travis 1. Meet Travis 2.

It seemed odd. In one week, I met two new friends, both named Travis.

Meet Travis 1, Travis 2

Friend 1:
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. . .

Friend 2:
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.

We all have something in common

* * *

Do you share a name with any of your friends? Do you have friends who are totally opposite? Please share in the comments.

46 thoughts on “Meet Travis 1. Meet Travis 2.

  1. Christy Mobley

    Lisa, it looks like our paths continue to cross as well! Your story reminds me a little of Same Kind of Different as Me. Did you ever read the book or see the movie? One of my favorites. Yes, we all something in common.

  2. Joanne Viola

    Lisa, I so enjoy when you share about those you encounter. You remind me constantly to engage with those I meet as I am out and about. Some of life’s best lessons are before us as we journey.

  3. Valerie Sisco

    Hi Lisa,
    We’re neighbors at Holley’s place today 🙂 and I find your profile on the similarities and differences of these two men intriguing! Your effort to engage both in conversation and take an interest in their lives is admirable since sometimes I’d rather just go about my business than stop and really listen to someone’s story. You’re an inspiration and I enjoyed your words here today!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I hear you, Valerie. I can tend to rush along as well. But in the times that I do sit still and listen, I hear some marvelous stories so I’m learning more and more to pay closer attention to the people instead of the task. It likely won’t ever come totally naturally to me though. 🙂 I’m glad we were neighbors today too.

  4. Lesley

    I love how these meetings with two people with the same name caused you to reflect on this! It’s so true that it can be easy only to see the differences at times but really we all have a lot in common and often aren’t as different as we might think at first.
    PS- your comment form seems to be displaying the details of the previous commenter

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, it always amazes me how much we can have in common with each other when at first glance it appears to be nothing at all. God is good to help us connect the dots.

      Thanks for telling me about the comment box. It started doing that a couple of weeks ago and I can’t seem to locate the problem. 🙁 I may have to switch comment systems altogether.

  5. Trudy

    This is beautiful, Lisa. We can so easily make “surface-level judgments.” Thank you for always encouraging us to look past the surface and look at people the way Jesus would. I love that our Savior gives us something in common even when our lives and characters are so different. Love and hugs to you!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Trudy. Yes, God never leaves us without commonalities, if we’re willing to open our eyes and see. I’m not always as eager as I’d like to be, but I am blessed when I get brave enough to peer in for deeper looks. Blessings to you, too, friend!

  6. Debbie Williams

    I’m like you Lisa and Michelle. Most of my really good friends are extroverts and talk a lot. I’m quiet so I listen, but inside we are the same with our love of our Lord.

    I got a little teary eyed reading your beautiful words and learning about these two guys. I think about the lessons I’ve missed and the seeds that weren’t planted by being an introvert, but the older I get and the more I learn the bolder I am, and I know today I would have friended both those guys.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Being introverted does have its pros and cons, I agree, Debbie. I know we do a service to those who need to be listened to, but also can pull back at other opportunities. I’m glad God knows what he’s doing with us and can put us where we need to be, when we need to be there!

  7. Sherry Stahl

    Lisa,
    I wish we lived close so we could hang out. I just love how you live your life…for HIM and for others! Praying God continues to open doors of opportunity as you continue to place yourself in opportunities way…like helping at the outdoor church and keeping your eyes peeled for those you can reach. Our Daddy is surely proud of you!
    ~Sherry
    xoxo

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement, Sherry. They mean a lot to me. I’m sure we would find some interesting adventures to get into if we lived close enough. 🙂

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Agree, Sarah–our similarities outweigh our differences even when we’re not aware of them! I was thankful for the “spare” time to listen to T-Bone too. I’m not always generous with my time, so I thank God that he gave me a sense of abundance that day.

  8. Lesa Dale

    I’ve been in so many situations where I’m amongst people that would seem so different from me on the surface, only to find just how much we all have in common. I love how you take the time to listen and how you were able to see the potential in both people.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m thankful, too, that both Travis’s crossed my path. And if their names hadn’t been the same, I wonder how inattentive I might have been. I’m glad God let me catch his wink so I’d pay attention. 🙂

  9. Brenda

    What a well-written post, Lisa. 🙂 — I have a name that is a generation older than I actually am, so I don’t have any peers who share my name. I’m 46, yet most of the folks who have my name seem to be 10-15 years older than me. 🙂 I used to hate it, but it’s slowly growing on me. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your sweet story of your two new Travis-friends. ((hug))

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m now thinking of Brenda’s I know, and yes, most of them are older than you, now that you mention it. But it’s a beautiful name regardless. I think Lisa was actually THE most popular name of 1962, the year I was born. ha. So there are TONS of us. It can get rather confusing. I often have to go by Lisa B. 🙂

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I wonder, too, how many people I whiz by on my way to do something else, and miss the real story. It’s so important to take time for the person in front of us, a lesson I have to remind myself of very often.

  10. Laura Thomas

    Isn’t it sweet when God brings people alongside us to simply to make us stop and think? Love this, Lisa. Thanks for sharing your encounters and your heart <3 Stopping by from #SittingAmongFriends

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, I appreciate how God works in different ways to catch my attention. If both these men hadn’t been named Travis, I’m not sure how long I would have pursued the conversation with T-Bone. But thankfully God let me know he was up to something! 🙂

  11. Ruth @ plantedbylivingwater

    “Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.” (1 Sam. 16:7) I’ve been thinking about this verse off and on for a while. We tend to have this “need”, for lack of a better word, to size a person up and tuck them neatly into a box. The problem is, that if we put them in the “dead letter box”, we never open the “mail” to find out what the person is really like. We don’t even try.
    I’ve had people do that to me many times. But I’m moving on with Jesus, because He doesn’t do that to me. He knows my heart, and He delights in me. He has a purpose for my life, and it’s a good purpose.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Open the mail. I love what you’re saying here, Ruth. I know there are times that I can “throw away” a person by one look at their “envelope” like I do my junk mail. 🙁 And it isn’t always the poorest, but sometimes the richest that I can toss away with a glance. May we continue to learn to NOT do this. Thanks for sharing your insight.

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