This is Lauren.
Some other names you might know him by are: Tom Tolado, Man-Lauren, Matt, Yoshiba-inu, Liquid Gold
The words I would use to describe Lauren are wise, calm and gentle giant. I have to choose these words carefully, because Lauren takes every word spoken very seriously. I once told him to “hold on”, as I needed to finish something really quick, to which he grasped the nearest pole until I was ready. Jokes aside, whenever he speaks, the words he uses are well thought out and constructed (most of the time anyway). As such, he is someone who you love being encouraged by, who you wouldn’t mind being reprimanded by, who you want to pray for you and who you wouldn’t mind having pillow talk with. And he loves pillow talk.
Unless Lauren is joking around or trying to have fun, he is always in a state of calm. Master of many situations, he never loses his cool or his temper. It’s such a morale boost to be around him cause you can never tell if he’s panicking, distressed or furious. The only thing you can tell is that he is analyzing a situation or problem, before he goes ahead to solve it. If you look into his eyes, you can tell that behind that gaze lies a vast sea of wisdom. Within that pool, he’s learned from many fought battles, many tears, many triumphs and many struggles. The coolest thing about Lauren is that he is always reading his Bible. He is always quoting it and referencing it to the best of his abilities. The way his Bible cover is worn out is a testament to how often he opens it (and/or never closes it). No surprise that that is the biggest source of his wisdom. He isn’t afraid to say things like it is. He doesn’t beat around the bush, rather he beats the bush to a leafy pulp; which is in turn suitable to be used to make paper.
When he is joking around though, he is extremely animated and a joy to be around.
He sometimes likes to play harmless pranks on people. They range from turning on the hazard lights while someone is driving, to turning everything upside down on one’s desk, to changing a calculator’s settings.
You would think that people mess with him a lot, since he has a “girly” name (since it’s spelled Lauren, rather than Loren), but one look at him and you know he’s not one to be trifled with.
He more than looks the part. Every now and then he would tell me about a fighting style he knows. Kickboxing, wrestling, boxing.. it wouldn’t surprise me if he pulled a sword one day to expertly chop something in half.
A servant at heart, he is always doing random acts of kindness. Though he doesn’t enjoy driving that much (similar to me), he always volunteers to drive anyway. He’ll randomly foot the bill when no one is looking. And he’ll send encouraging messages to you over Facebook. This was especially apparent when I lived with him for a year. He would wrestle me to do the dishes, because he didn’t want me to do “his” dishes. And when it comes to fighting Lauren to do the dishes, there’s no winning, he just allows you to lose. He would pour chips into a bowl, as if for himself, but somehow get me to eat them all. He would ask if I was the least bit hungry, to which he would cook me something and put it in front of me. And he always insisted on pouring my tea for me.
Lauren was actually the one that played a large part in convincing me to be a small group leader. A lot of our deeper conversations came in the moments we were in bed but not asleep yet. Being involved in EPIC was one of them. Though I deemed myself unfit for the role, he spent many minutes reassuring me, as much as I was just trying to fall asleep. Some nights were spent going into detail about our dream world. Some were spent talking about the blessings God has showered on us. And some conversations were just utter nonsense.
The greatest stories I have with Lauren usually involve us inventing something; as you know, we were already proud of the concept of “Joshiba”. We invented a game that is able to be played at any table and is initiated when an object is placed. We invented some pretty good food concoctions when we lived together. We were also good at fabricating stories that girl-Lauren would believe.
Oh, and all those times he came over to cuddle with Eddie.. without Eddie’s consent of course.
It goes without saying though, that he is a great guy and a good friend.