A master storyteller and sought-after Bible teacher and author known for her authenticity, Lisa Harper‘s writing and speaking overflows with colorful pop culture references that connect the dots between the Bible and modern life. She combines sound scriptural exposition with relatable anecdotes and comedic wit. Lisa is a mother to Missy, who she adopted from Haiti.
In this video, Lisa recounts two very humorous misadventures that she’s experienced on different Thanksgivings.
The entire video is above, and the complete transcript is below.
I have two Thanksgiving memories that are kind of humorous train wrecks. One is poignant, the other one is just, just a train wreck.
I was living in Colorado Springs with another girl. I was really, really sick that Thanksgiving. I had the flu. Like the flu turbo. And we were both supposed to go volunteer with a homeless shelter, handing out meals before we had our own little, single girls Thanksgiving in the apartment complex that we lived in. And I was just upstairs unconscious. Couldn’t go help with the homeless shelter. Just really, really sick. Real high fever.
I woke up with lights in my room. I had the upstairs room in our apartment. She was downstairs. And I thought, “Oh Judy’s come back early and put up Christmas lights.” Because there were so many lights just reverberating off the walls of my bedroom.
And it wasn’t until my ears, because I had a lot of fluid in my ears, kind of finally registered they’re sirens going off. That I realized the lights were whirling in my room because the firetruck was parked right next to my room.
She had left Cornish game-hens–because our oven wasn’t big enough for a turkey–in the oven when she went to the homeless shelter and didn’t realize there needed to be a drip pan. So our kitchen was on fire.
So that was my first kind of amusing Thanksgiving memory. One that we’ll never forget. Especially since we got chastised by the firemen for being so irresponsible with our Cornish, naked Cornish game-hens.
My second Thanksgiving, just poignant funny memory, was I actually was driving around downtown in Nashville, Tennessee, where I now live, with a friend of mine who had gone through a rehab program, had been homeless, had been hardcore a drug-addict, and God had just redeemed her story. And so she wanted to go find people who were in places where she had been in past Thanksgivings, under bridges, etc.
She said, “Lisa, there are people all over Nashville who will not darken the door of a homeless shelter today to get their turkey and have somebody hug them and say, ‘Happy Thanksgiving’. I want to go to them.”
So a group of us had prepared meals and we were going to all those places, kind of, we’re going to go where the people live under the bridges, where people are just marginalized and missed all over town.
And the first three or four people that we stopped that I attempted to engage and give a meal to, were Vanderbilt students. Now if you know anything about Vanderbilt, you know that it is extremely expensive. I think it’s over $70 grand a year to attend if you don’t scholarships or aid.
And so all four of these Vanderbilt students were extremely offended that I assumed that they were needy and homeless. But they were dressed so trashy, I just assumed they needed help.
After I offended the fourth student, my friend who had been homeless, said, “You don’t get to pick the people we’re giving meals to anymore. I have to pick the people.” It turned into like our best Thanksgiving ever. I just didn’t get to pick the people we gave the meals to.
Want to see more from Lisa? Check out her other LifeWay Voices posts: