Our oldest daughter took it upon herself to take on a second job for some extra spending money. Much to our surprise, she was hired on at local restaurant in her college town. She loves it! And she really loves it on the nights when the tips are good.
The encounters she’s had have given her a remarkable insight into the human race. The encounter she had recently was no different. It was a Tuesday night, nothing really special about a Tuesday night. A couple came in and was seated at one of her tables. Dutifully she went about waiting on them…taking their drink order, getting them some water, serving them as she would any body on a Tuesday night. She was kind and gracious, pleasant and friendly. The couple had a nice meal, took their time, and at the end of their meal Emily delivered to them their check.
When the couple stood to leave and walked over to pay, the man was quick to speak to Emily. He thanked her for the kind and gracious service she had given them, complemented the meal they had just eaten, and proceeded to tell Emily more. You see, they had buried their daughter that day. So this meal had more meaning than an average Tuesday evening meal. The couple told Emily how she had really made their time at the Fox and Fork delightful and special…you see, their daughter’s name was Emily.
My sweet, wears her heart on her sleeve child was speechless, and I’m sure she was fighting back the tears. They chatted for a little while longer, Emily assured them she would be keeping them in her prayers and how special it was that their paths had crossed. Emily was honored to have served them this very special and memorable meal. As the couple went on their way, back to wherever they had come, Emily found herself in tears again as she looked to see that they had left her an extremely generous tip.
I can’t help but think that God had something to do with this chance meeting. A couple who needed some reassurance that the child they had laid to rest was in good hands…encountered a young 22 year old who needed some reassurance that being generous with her kindness is powerful in sharing grace to those we meet. God had his hand in that chance meeting, reminding each one that God heals our broken hearts, reminds us that we are never alone, and loves us in ways that we can’t even being to describe. A kind and generous heart always serves us well.
Flying doesn’t make me anxious, but not knowing where I am going once I get there sure does. Most of the time when I fly somewhere, I am certain to meet someone on my arrival to pick me up and take me to my destination. Most of my flying experiences are to see friends and family, or traveling with my spouse. This time I was flying by myself, and arriving to an unfamiliar city, a day early for the event, and I had to navigate my own way to the hotel. The challenge was that the hotel did not offer a shuttle service, so I had to find my way to ground transportation take a taxi.
I’ve taken a taxi before, but I can’t say I’ve ever done it alone. Once I found my bag at baggage claim in a somewhat crowded area, I started looking for signs. Most airports are great at signage, and this one was as well…but the trick with signage, is you sorta need to know what you may be looking for to understand the signs. I just kept walking and eventually found where I could catch a cab. All was well, and my anxiousness was eased, as a very nice cabdriver saw to it to take my bag and help me on my way.
Not all of us are adventurous, especially when going it alone. If I were traveling with a companion, my anxiousness would have never reared its ugly head. Which leads me to the point I want to make.
In this life of faith, we are never alone. We may sometimes believe we are alone, but we aren’t. Many times we try and go it alone, and we soon learn that going it alone brings a lot of challenges that we could have avoided if we had just asked for help. God assures us that we are never alone…it just requires that we believe it and trust God to be there.
There is a great affirmation of faith that we sometimes use in the church. Here are some excerpts, the parts I tend to remember when I need a graceful reminder:
We are not alone…we live in God’s world
We believe in God…we trust in God
We are called to be the church…to celebrate God’s presence…to love and serve others
In life, in death, in life beyond death…God is with us…we are not alone
Thanks be to God.