A Story Written by a ShowerUp Board Member

I went to a funeral a few weeks ago and it seemed like we were burying 3 different guys.

Jacinto was the name he got at birth, but only a handful of people at the funeral knew that.  He was born in Nashville in 1960 and was raised in an area near downtown.  But as he grew he became known as Jay.  I didn’t know Jacinto.

Jay was the name his family and friends knew him by as he grew up and attended school and began a family, and worked.  Through the years things happened and life changed for Jay he began to live on and off the streets and called himself Jake.  I had met Walter, his bother, and Elaine, his sister-in-law, over the years so I kinda knew Jay, or at least I knew people that knew Jay.  I never really knew Jay.

Jake, was the guy I knew.  He is the one I met under the Jefferson Street bridge 10 or so years ago.  He was the one I argued with about who was the best basketball player in the NBA.  He was also the one I fought with about drinking too much.  He is the one that I would laugh with, argue with, and talk with, and one I would look for.  I knew Jake.

3 different guys? 

Jacinto was a young man growing up in Nashville.  Like a lot of us just playing sports, hanging out, and being a kid.  Although I didn’t know him then we would have gotten along well.  Jacinto was known and loved by those that knew him

Jay was the kid growing up that maybe you could say started to make some bad choices and make some wrong turns which lead to his eventually becoming Jake on the streets.  The people that knew Jay hated that he was on the streets. They wanted Jay to be Jay not Jake.   Jay was known and loved by those that knew him.

Jake was his street name and a guy that anyone that did anything in downtown Nashville knew and liked.  But most didn’t know he was Jacinto or Jay.  Most of the people that knew him as Jake had no idea of his story.  Most thought he was out on the streets because he had no choice. To be honest that not knowing is actually freeing.  I knew he had a choice and a lot of time was spent arguing with him about that.  I wanted him to do something off the streets, but he seemed to like the streets and his street family.  Jake, was known and loved by those that knew him.

Jacinto, Jay, and Jake was 3 different guys.

The more I get to understand Jacinto, Jay, and Jake, the more questions I have about him and honestly about me.

Jacinto, Jay, and Jake were all different but aren’t we all really different people as we grow and move through this life?  Sometimes we change because of choices we make or life events, but the truth we all change.

So why not one guy with three different parts?  He wouldn’t let that be.  People that knew Jake didn’t know Jay, nor would he let them, people, that knew Jay didn’t know Jake thought Jay was just making bad choices.  The people that knew Jacinto just knew the kid.  The three were never really together on the outside.  I am sure they were on the inside.

Jacinto, Jay, Jake, see you in Heaven, and maybe by then, you will understand the truth that Michael is better than Lebron.  In fact KD is better.  Here we go again! To be continued.


A few things I learned from this.

It is important to try to hear everyone’s story.  I don’t think we all have “a” story I believe we all have “multiple” stories.

No matter how many bridges we have burned there still is a way to crossover to healing and restoration.  We don’t need to wait for new bridges to be built or the water to recede we just need to jump in and start swimming, fly over, walk on water, whatever it takes.  We all need healing and restoration.

Addiction is nasty and if it doesn’t kill you it most likely will be a contributing factor.

I don’t have different names or nicknames, but I am different what I was.  For me this really causes me to think.  With my changes am I becoming better or just different?

A note from the author, Steve Rudd:  I wrote this story a few months ago not knowing if I should send it out.  I selfishly write for my own healing.  Since then I have had the opportunity to see another friend I have on the streets “kinda” start building a broken relationship back and taking some baby steps towards healing.  I know the saying “Hurt people, hurt people” which is true, but I also think “hurt people are hurting people” and my friend is hurting.  Pray for this friend that he will continue to take steps towards healing.

The Bible says we are “created in his image” and then says “we are his workmanship”.  My prayer today is to remember that the “we” needs to mean everyone.