Have you ever had one of those unexpected experiences where, after it was over, you just knew that God's hand was all over it? Well, I can't wait to share mine with you! Yesterday, Peace-Loving Warrior (PLW) and I had to be in the Big City to take care of a little business. We knew it would be a mixed blessing -- we were going to meet with a client to deliver a commissioned portrait that my wonderfully talented artist husband had just completed (he hates that I just said that; but I'm allowed to brag every now and then -- it's my blog, right?)
But we also had to meet with our health insurance broker to try to navigate the decisions we needed to make -- do we stick with our grandfathered plan, whose rates just went up, and are scheduled to go up again in March of 2014? Or do we take a risk on choosing one of the myriad of plans being offered, and which the Provider can supply no rate guarantee for the next year, because they don't know what is going to shake out in this chaos called the Affordable Care Act?!? Although I was dreading dealing with this conundrum, we would soon be graced with the afore-mentioned incident that overshadowed any negative effects of something as trivial as the ACA. Let me tell you our story....
Because the weather prediction was a little dicey for Texas -- freezing rain and icy roads -- we decided to get an early start for our meeting. As it turned out, there was just freezing temperatures and a cold, icy wind; but no precipitation. It being a Friday, most people just took the day off, so the roads were nearly empty and we found ourselves with an hour or more to kill. So we decided to treat ourselves to a trip down memory lane.
So it was, that we eagerly entered this nostalgic establishment to enjoy a good breakfast and get out of the frigid weather. As we were led to a back booth, we noticed that the table to our right was filled with four members of the Army, dressed in uniform and enjoying a variety of Kerbey Lane's finest breakfast offerings. Our boho waiter, replete with his dread-friendly slouch hat and full beard came to take our order. Now, normally, you would never pair PLW in his tactical ball cap with a free spirit in his slouch hat, but the two would quickly become co-conspirators in a scheme to give back.
As soon as we had been seated, a thought popped into my head, which I quickly shared with PLW. So when the waiter appeared, we asked if he was handling the table of military veterans seated to our right. He said, "yes" and PLW said, "Bring their ticket to me. We'd like to pay for their breakfast." Our waiter smiled, took our order and disappeared.
Shortly afterward, he informed them that their bill had been taken care of, and I heard one of the young women ask, "Do you know who it was?" Darn, I thought, Please don't tell them who it was... we don't need any recognition. Too late! The next minute, all four servicemen and women were standing at our table, shaking our hands and thanking us.
As we bundled up and slipped out into the inclement weather, I didn't feel the cold or the wind. I was warmed by the experience that God had allowed us to share with our fellow man that morning. We were all different ages, had different backgrounds, and more than likely have different philosophies on politics, religion and life. But each of us took the step to spontaneously serve the other, and that's exactly what our Lord asks us to do. It was so simple ... and so rewarding; the perfect gesture for this time of year. I silently expressed my gratitude to God as I a wrote a note to leave with our waiter's tip: "Thank you for helping us to help others. God Bless You!"
None of us know each other's names; nor are we ever likely to cross each others' paths again. But none of that matters, because for a few short moments, we reached out and served a stranger. And that is a memory that will last a lifetime!
1 Peter 4:10 "As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace..."