What happened was that Sarah Beagle (whom I'd never met) heard about the St. Baldrick's Foundation on the radio and asked Sarah Duffer what she thought about funding research for childhood cancers. All they had to do, Beagle explained, was talk people into making donations and go up on stage at the St. Patty's Palooza...to have their hair shaved plumb off.
I reckon Duffer said she'd do it if Beagle would do it, and they signed up. I got wind of the whole thing on facebook.
I met Duffer (left) two churches ago, in about 2001. She's my girl Christy's best babysitter, and--when Christy's kids and Cade were very little--we asked Duffer to help entertain the kids while we baked Christmas cookies. As the kids got older, Duffer decided she'd like to participate in the actual baking. She's become quite the baker over the years, and in 2010, she showed Christy and me up in a bad way. I'll say, too: when Jim realized Duffer was baking pecan bars this past Christmas, he whined for days. It's the only "sweet treat" I've heard him mourn since his gastric bypass.
Duffer set a fundraising goal of $350 for St. Baldricks, and I donated a little bit of money. And then I put something out on facebook about being willing to bake cookies for local friends who'd donate at least $10. (I'd say I don't know what got into me, but I really kind of do; my college friend Akiko's little girl Jaimie is fighting liver cancer, right now, and I've been all kinds of torn up about it.) Christy made the same promise on Beagle's behalf. Meanwhile, the girls continued to raise money on their own.
In the end, Duffer raised $665, and Beagle raised $622. Christy and I have a lot of cookies to bake! Christy and I decided we couldn't miss the actual hair-shaving event and (along with Christy's daughter Abi, Baby Chip, and my camera) headed to the St. Patty's Palooza at Innsbrook Pavilion.
It had been awhile since I'd been in the world like that. I'm not judging, just saying: people were decked out in St. Patrick's Day frivolity; selling unusual wares; drinking beer out of plastic cups; and playing very loud music, including, at one point, AC/DC's "Highway to Hell." It had been awhile.
|Christy Protecting Baby Chip's Ear from the Loud Music|
But--sure as I'm sitting here--I found Jesus at the St. Patty's Palooza. He shone right out of the faces of two young Sarahs who marched up on stage to have their heads shaved in front of hundreds of people. And that's the thing about Jesus, I've learned: He shows up in the unlikeliest of places...and faces. He's just everywhere.
Now, validate my words. Say to me: yes, Brandee, I see Jesus; I do. Tell me how blessed I am to know Him; to love Him; to recognize Him; to capture Him. Tell me how blessed I am to have friends like these. A community like this.
And say a prayer, please, for little fighter Jaimie Fredricks and her family.