Stories with Strangers
Welcome to issue four of Stories with Strangers, and this week we have quite a fun story that I think everyone will enjoy reading about so make sure to find a cozy spot and get a drink so that you can just sit back and enjoy it. Before we dive into this week’s story it was brought to my attention how some are curious or interested into how I find these people and how I choose who story will be shared in my article, so this week I’ll dive into how I came across this week’s story. I woke up early on Saturday morning and went to a Starbucks that is a bit away in Denver. I go to this one usually since I tend to not see anyone from CCU and the store is usually pretty busy with lots of people who walk in and out. As I walk in the store I sit in my usual spot at the table right in front of the main entrance so that when people walk in they see me and my sign that says “tell me a story about yourself and if its really good ill buy you a coffee.” I sit there drinking my iced black tea with lemonade waiting for anyone to sit down with me and to start talking with me. I usually get several questions about what I am doing there but they tend to go no where. After waiting for about an hour or two I usually get the person who sits down and chats with me about small things at first and then once we get to know each other a bit, They then share the story with me. We will get back to this process in a bit, but I think for one to truly understand the process, you’ll need to hear the story first.
This week story was with a gentleman who we will call Father Elijah since he asked to not be named specifically. Elijah was an interesting person for this article since he is the father of a Catholic church in the area and during our talk I had asked him what made him want to be a priest and his answer was something I didnt expect at all. He told me that in highschool and college he had been a big party man since he was born in Beverly Hills and parties were just a big part of the culture. He told me about how he used to always flex his wealth by driving his Rolls-Royce and he usually had several women with him at times. He mentioned how in his mind during that time he was always a big believer of that if you didn’t remember what happened the night before, you probably had an awesome time. However, during his junior year at college, he talked about one night how he was looking back at his whole life for some reason
and he realized how much of his life he wasted away on very silly things. It was this night of reliving the past that made him start his change for the better. Elijah was then trying to think of how he could make up for what the sins of his past. He was talking with one of his friends when he jokingly mentioned that he should become a priest. Elijah then decided that was his solution to his problem and it was fitting since he grew up catholic. He then dropped out of college at the end of the semester and attended a local seminary in order to pursue his journey as a priest. He concluded the story by saying how he now understand what it really mean to be a priest and it is a bit more then just making up for sins of the past but rather showing others God’s unrelenting love and care for others. He believes that his rebellious years as a teen and young adult helps him be a preist who is a little more down to earth and also in his own words I quote “slighly more awesome.”
When it comes to who’s story I pick for the week, I typically pick the story I feel can be best shared casually as if one was there talking with them in the first place. Father Elijah was the story I choose for this week due to how relatable I feel like it is to most people and also due to how natural it felt to “pre-write” in my own head. I hope this process was interesting to listen to and I’ll start sharing the process I go through each week from here on out.