Saturday Nights - as told by Justin G.

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Saturday Nights

 

"What are you doing Saturday night?"

is a question I get asked every week. Rarely by a girl, and sometimes by my boys, but always by myself.

My loneliness tries to get me to believe that this is the way it's supposed to be. It is even more amazing that I actually believe them.

 

Just like any belief system - loneliness is not content with being a state of mind, but something that wants to consume my life; it wants my Saturday nights. Sometimes I find myself believing the enemy, and the lies he masks as the truth. My unchecked emotions lead me down a world of pain and hinders my life.

 

The fight against loneliness is won and lost in my thoughts. I would believe that I'm more beyond the reach of my loved ones. I'm far more distance than I should be, and my grip with reality becomes more looser. At the point of impact, there is hope.

 

I'd miss the drive at sunset.

I'd miss the clouds change from blue to purple to black.

I'd miss the water change and glow the same.

I'd miss eating pizza on the beach and all of the conversations in between.

 

So when you ask 'what are you doing Saturday night?', please be aware that some people are fighting for a sense of community. It might not be easy and it doesn't come free, but the battle for that fellowship will always be worth the fight. If I didn't believe in a God who has revealed himself as a community, who has made it obvious from His Word, well I don't know where I would be. We humans were created to fellowship with one another.

 

I worship a God who says I am not alone. A God who says He is with me everywhere I go. He stays with me, even in my loneliness. He puts people in my life to spend those Saturday nights with. It doesn't matter who they or where they come from. I'm truly blessed to have loved ones in my life.

 

Here's to many more Saturday Nights.

My Daily Quota.

French Quarter.  

French Quarter.  

 Part of my job description is to spend some time indulging in what this next generation of young people want to do with their life. 99% of the time I'm traveling around the country to hear their stories. As such, my most recent recruiting trip landed me in the beautiful city of New Orleans. A place enriched with culture, cobblestone streets and beignets so good you would consider it a sin to eat anything else.

 

It wasn't until I stumbled across a no named stranger in the French Quarter that I felt like I was in the right direction. I found the anonymous street Guru strumming a very loud and yet very poetic melody coming from his very cool looking guitar. The vengeance in his voice could be heard up and down Royal street. Upon further investigation, I discovered a gentle, cowering guy just out doing his job.

 

The two of us engaged in casual conversation after I snapped a few shots. Either it was giving his angry tunes or I simply got lost walking that night, but we managed to sit down a couple more times that evening. At one point, this young man stopped playing to enjoy the taste of his drink. He asked where I was from. I'm always one to be a little reluctant to admit I'm from Columbus, Ohio. This guy had been to Columbus before. He went ahead and explained his experience as "I was robbed by a couple crackheads". Blown by his brief description of his trip I reached in my pocket to retrieve some money for the homie. He extends his hand to reject my generosity as he explains that all he needed was enough money for a bite to eat and pay rent. I asked him is there anything else he needed and he mumbles as he gazes off into the distance, "I made my quota for the day.”

Indonesia!

I had an amazing opportunity to travel to Indonesia last summer. While abroad, I not only got a crash course in the national language of the country, but I also got to spend an immense amount of time with the locals. Indonesia is composed up of many islands located in Southeast Asia and to my surprise the largest Muslim country by population. About 88% of the country's 250 million people would identify as Muslim. Despite the radical terror being broadcasted around the world, Indonesia is home to by far the most hospitable human beings I have ever met. Rather if we're out around town shopping for food or out in the countryside playing with children; the people of this lovely country would go out of their way to ensure I had an authentic Indonesian experience. It is a time worth sharing because it fostered relationships that will last forever.


Saya cinta Indonesia!

Forever Sightseeing.

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You know, I suppose I thought my first blog entry would be accompanied by a rich cup of spice chai with smooth jazz as my backdrop on some crisps fall afternoon. Instead, I sit patiently (probably at the wrong gate) for my 6 am flight to board from New Orleans to Kansas City. Of course, what is a Delta flight without the casual, yet semi stressful visit to Atlanta's Coliseum of an airport in between? With all things aside, this isn't about that spice chai (or therefore lack of) or even getting up before the majority of the city calls it a night. It's about the journey or narrative and how sometimes the off beaten path can be the best part. My two goals for this blog is to support the pursue of yours (The World's) narrative through documentary style photography. Secondly, I hope by sharing a bit of my own narrative that you all feel as much a part of my life as I do with some stories I hope to share. Some entries may be long and others will be super short. Some entries will be written by me, but there will be times when another thought provoking storytellers may chime in. Just sit back and settle down with some smooth jazz as there is quite a bit to share.