Cab Game Ministry
As I slid into the cab, I dropped my heavy bags inside and asked the cab driver to take me to the hotel. It was late and my connecting flight was cancelled due to a huge storm, so I was stranded and ready to crash for the night.
"Can I ask you a question? And like, be honest with me." J.D. the cab driver asked me.
"Sure man - go ahead."
"You have to be really honest. Okay, do you believe that black people deserve reparations for slavery?" J.D., a black man, just took this cab ride up a notch.
I thought for a minute, trying to figure out how to articulate a response. I hate slavery and it was an evil thrust upon African-Americans and I just didn't know what to say specifically in regards to making reparations.
"Be honest with me." J.D. reminded me as I searched for words.
I don't recall exactly how I answered, but it had something to do with equal dignity. I felt like in that moment I had more love and compassion than I had words. This question is bigger than me and I wasn't prepared.
J.D. and I talked and talked. We talked about family, church, work, and racism. We discussed possible solutions to racism and what our dreams were in regards to the future of America. We got so lost in our conversation that when we reached my hotel, he circled so we could talk more.
The last part of our conversation centered around God. J.D. said that times were hard for his family financially and that he used to drive trucks but his truck is broken down in Dallas, with no money to fix it.
J.D. explained, "I have been in the cab game before and there's no money in it. I have kind of been put here in this cab. And you know what - and man, I have only told like two people this," (his eyebrows lowered as he looked at me, about to let me in on his secret) "but this cab is my ministry. God put me here for this."
We talked more about that, J.D.'s outlook on his job inspiring me and refreshing my soul. The meter had been running the whole time, and because the conversation was so valuable I figured I would just pay what it said when we were done talking.
As we wrapped up our great conversation, I pulled out my wallet to pay the $20 tab and he said, "oh no man, I am not going to do you that way. I forgot to turn the meter off." I pleaded with J.D. and told him I needed to pay him for the ride. He made a racist joke about being black and not to mess with him and vehemently refused my payment. I thanked him and told him how much I had enjoyed talking with him - and that I intended to get to my hotel room and pray for him.
As I grabbed my anchor-heavy bags and left the cab, our eyes met once more and J.D. said, "I love you man. You are my brother. We are brothers."
J.D. embodies Joyfully Yoked to a t. He is not in a job that he loves or that pays well, but J.D. has found joy in his work - joy in treating his cab as a rolling ministry.
A cab game ministry.
Photo credit: GLAS-8 via Flickr