It was at a Beth Moore conference in Cincinnati that I realized I am not the same as the other ladies. Although one of my friends is "special needs" too and I don't think she likes to be referenced in that way either. (My friend, if by some miracle if you're reading this, I do care for you and don't want to offend.) On our way to the conference, it was misting a little and the walk was about 6 blocks. Parked right outside our hotel was a horse-drawn carriage. Six of us decided to go with the ride to the arena.
|Ladies from Berea on way to US Bank Arena for Beth Moore Conference|
After we arrived at the US Bank Arena, we had to walk up quite a bit of steps and that made me and my friend dizzy! My friend counted the outside stairs. There were 59 stairs! Then, inside, more stairs! As we were walking up the auditorium stairs, about half way, the lights went out! I grabbed for the edge of the chairs so I could keep my balance and still had difficulty making it to my seat. It was about 30 minutes into the conference after Beth Moore came out that I decided...this is NOT going to work. Where we were sitting I could hear loud voices, but couldn't understand a word being said, even with wearing a hearing-aid. So, I decided to leave! Yes, I texted the leader of our group and said I was taking a cab back to the hotel. Well, when I went out to the main hallway, an usher told me a cab would cost about $10. She directed me to the outside ramp and pointed to where I could catch the shuttle and it was only $1. Well, I decided that I'd do that. When I walked down to the stop, I waited and waited. In addition, to the wait, it was raining, not hard, but steady. I decided I'd start walking. I knew the direction to downtown, but I didn't realize what I'd encounter along the way. Three teenaged girls come out of no where and one shouted, "Oh, look, there's a five dollar bill!" Sure enough there it was in the gutter. Gosh, you would have thought she won the lottery she was so excited. I couldn't help but wonder if they were homeless runaways. Anyway, I kept my focus on finding my way back to the hotel. Our hotel was the Homestead Suites and only had been opened a month. It was located in the old Cincinnati Enquirer building which I thought was fascinating. I love the lobby and entryway. Wish I would have gotten a few pictures, but didn't really think about it until the trip was over.
I made it back to the hotel and was I drenched! But I'm glad I did what I did it despite everyone saying that was too dangerous for me to walk alone. I didn't feel that way although it certainly was an adventure. Dinner was in my room consisted of a Snicker candy bar, a bag of Doritos, and a bottle of water, $6! Oh well, I enjoyed the seclusion and watching closed-caption TV. Now, that's my kind of evening!
Next morning at the conference, it started all over again - although the lights stayed on and one could see clearly. However, we were still going to be up quite a ways. So, my friend and I went out and sat by one of the event vendor's table. A police woman was close by and I said we were going to be out here the entire conference. She said, "you paid for the conference and sitting out here, not being able to see and hear what's going on?" I said, "yes, I can't hear well and my friend and I both don't do well with heights." She then went over to one of the coordinators for the event and explained the situation and he put the chairs inside the first ramp out of the way so we could see and hear pretty well. It was fine, until we got up to go to the restroom. When we came back, our chairs were gone. My friend decided to stay out and sit next to the vendor table until it was time to go. I walked down to the nearest elevator that took me on the main level. As it wasn't as crowded like the night before, I saw a couple seats, but they had signs on the backs. Before I went over to them, I saw a lady from our church seated with her cousin. She was in an area that was so much better than our group had. I talked with her for a while and told her about my situation. She said, "there's two seats!" "They look like they might be reserved." I said. When I went over, the sign read, "Reserved for special needs!" I thought well that's me! I sat down and took the one sign off and turned to show my church friend what it said...she gave me the thumbs up! I sat there the entire time and heard most everything that was said! Thank you, Lord!
Special needs is nothing to be ashamed of...when you think about it, we all have special needs and our Lord provides! I'm so thankful. I thought maybe too I should check into serving the homeless...I thought that was why all that happened the way it did. Lo and behold, on the second day of the conference, I met a lady from Middletown who gave me her card...she has a ministry for the homeless. Amazing!