Friday, March 2, 2012

Awesome and Meddlesome

by Rev. Christina Whitehouse-Suggs

I have no idea how I first met Hugh Hollowell and was introduced to Love Wins Ministries but he's become one of those friends that you swear you've known your whole life. You know, the one who is SO MUCH like you but keeps you honest and real? Yeah, he's like that. Awesome and meddlesome, all at the same time.

Growing up as a preacher's kid at Central Baptist Church in downtown Miami, FL meant seeing lots of homeless folks...even serving them a hot meal on occasion from the mission at the back corner of the church parking lot. But it never meant getting to know them. Or seeing them as real live human beings.

Leave it to Hugh to make me re-think that old script.

I end up subscribing to the Love Wins newsletter and one day read this post about/from Tony. Specifically, this:

“Please tell the people who give you this money that I am so grateful. That I could not have made it this long without you guys. And that while it may not seem like a big deal to them, it has changed my life. Hell, it probably saved my life.”

Damn it, Hugh.

That night, my family becomes a monthly contributor to Love Wins. Hugh sends me a direct message on Twitter to say that we rock. I tell him to shove it because it's a pittance and I want it to be more. I can almost feel him roll his eyes when he responds, "You don't know what I can do with a pittance."

In the next few months, I can't get Tony off my mind. Eventually, I email Hugh and ask if there's any way I can get in touch with him. Become his friend and let him know that someone other than Hugh cares about him and wants to know him personally.

Tony agrees and we start emailing. Just getting to know each other. When Tony mentions that he could use some dishes and kitchen supplies, I just smile and shake my head. God's sense of humor and timing continues to slay me...I have a ton of stuff I've "inherited" when a great-aunt passed away.

I had the opportunity to give these things to Tony in person yesterday. I got to see where he lives, hug him, introduce him to my daughter, and talk smack about NC football teams. I discovered that his birthday is close to my anticipated due date and promised I would email him when I found out the sex of the baby at the end of this month.

Hugh told me today that I have no idea what that short visit meant to Tony. I told him that I know what it meant to me.

Because, you see, Tony is my friend.

Christina Whitehouse-Suggs is the Associate Coordinator of CBF of South Carolina. This article originally appeared on her blog, Thoughts from the Journey.

Hugh Hollowell will be a workshop leader at the CBFNC General Assembly at Trinity Baptist Church in Raleigh. To find out more information and to register, visit

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