First Baptist Church of Naples – My Friend Dennis

dennisEvery Wednesday and Friday, Dennis comes knocking on the door of the FBCN Finance Department. We know his “knock” and I smile as he comes in with his shirt tucked into his pants that are riding pretty high on his belly, and his belt cinched tight. His white tennis shoes with Velcro fasteners are always crossed at just the right angle.

Dennis is 46 and I love to have him visit to bring me into his world and give me an update on things. He comes in, sits down in the same chair, puts his brush, the one he cleans with that usually has a lot of hair in it he’s swept up, and we begin to “chew the fat.” It usually goes like this every time,

Dennis: Hi! How you doin’?
Me: What’s up, buttercup, I’m good, how ‘bout you?
Dennis: We got the land for the group-home-house! But we don’t have the house. What are you going to bring me when I move into my new house?

Dennis will be a partaker of the Protected Harbor home for men with special needs once they are able to raise enough money to fund the building project. He then goes on to tell me who is going on/off the Protected Harbor board, who isn’t doing their job to get this home built, and a variety of other things that I won’t go into so as not to incriminate my friend! So continuing from our last question…..

Me: Diet coke and a candy bar. Do you want cookies or a balloon?
Dennis: No, just a diet coke and a candy bar.
Dennis: How’s Bella (my dog), where’s Carleton (my husband), and where’s Caroline (my daughter who is grown now and lives in Nashville whom Dennis knew).
Me: Bella is sleeping on my bed, Carleton’s at work, and Caroline BETTER be at work!
Dennis: Are you coming tonight? (Dennis goes to Wednesday night activities and the dinner).
Me: Yes, I’m coming tonight.
Dennis: What are you going to wear?
Me: What do you think I should wear?

And on we converse for about 10 minutes about Joe and his bowling score, and how Joe always brings a drink into the bowling alley and Dennis always tells him to take it out of there. We talk about FBA football and if they will win or lose the game, even if they aren’t playing this week. He always says, “Do you want me to talk to Billy about it?” We talk about the election and Dennis wants to make sure I’m not going to vote for Hillary.

Dennis brings hope into my office. He is my reminder that God sees our crazy world and how much fretting goes on about it. So He sends Dennis to remind me-it’s not about me or how bad things look, or what’s to come of our country, my family, or my life. He is always smiling, always has a friendly word, always takes care to visit each and every one of us, even if he just says Hi. If we have to get back to work, he understands, because he should be getting back to work too! But we don’t really care how much work he does. He’s had a job at FBCN for many years but his real job is letting God shower His kindness on us through Dennis. His needs are simple; he is not stressed about his life or his job. He isn’t wondering what will become of him when his parents get older. He trusts that someone is always looking out for him. He loves a good laugh, and is endlessly looking for something to satisfy his sweet tooth. Dennis is God’s gift to me as a reminder that He is in charge and I’m not to worry about my life because Dennis doesn’t. End of story.

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