“The right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of jewelry, and a wise friend’s timely reprimand is like a gold ring slipped on your finger.” (Proverbs 2511-12 MSG)
Once a week some friends and I meet for coffee at a deli. We share the latest news about family, project updates, and prayer requests. As the commitments of the day being to squeeze into our time together, one by one, we rise from our booth, and head into the day.
We try to get the same booth each time we come. We like to sit near the wall size aquarium.
Large Goldfish glide effortlessly in their invisible environment, with the gracefulness of angels. It is an antidote to the pressure I feel about my crazy schedule. It is causes me to slow down and breathe, even among the crowd of people.
Our waitress calls us the God Squad. Her khaki pants and pink golf shirt are always crisp and clean. We include her in settling difference of opinions, or ask her if she has heard any facts about the latest town news. For this Blog, I’ll call her Pinkie; though I doubt you would know her.
Pinkie has a tattoo on her arm of a shooting star with a long tail. In the long tail are several smaller stars. She scars up her body with art trying to tell her story.
After the rest of the “God-Squad” leaves, I linger a little longer.
I get the nerve to ask, Pinkie, her about her tattoo.
“It’s my family,” she says. And she begins to tell me about her mother dying when she was young, then her daddy dying several years ago, and the two little girls she is raising all alone.
She fills my coffee cup, and tells a bit of her story. There are no tears; there are just the facts of what has happened in her life.
I want to wrap my arm around her shoulder, and tell her that I, too, was a single mother. I know how hard it is – how lonely, and how easy it is to settle for less, just to feel something more than responsibility and pain.
My voice begins to hum a hymn I heard over the radio, by Stuart Townend, called How Deep the Father’s Love. One verse went like this:
“ How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory”
Isn’t that how God uses what was meant for evil? He shows the hands, and feet, scared from nails. He pulls up his shirt and lets us see his back and side. He pulls back the veil over my heart and reveals to one who is hurting, a sister.
I stare at the aquarium beside me lost in thought about my waitress. A goldfish is snuggled under a cliff, in the rock. Its big bubble eyes appear to be staring right at me.
“So what do you think”, I ask it. The mouth of the golden carp opens and closes, but no words are heard.
Maybe that is the whole point. Sometimes we meet a person, and you know the Lord is placing them on your heart, but words are not necessary.
The old adage, “They won’t care what you know, until they know that you care”, comes into play here.
Perhaps the time has not come for us to talk; the time is for me to listen to her and to God, and to pray for her…with expectation.
Linking today with Hear it on Sunday – Use it on Monday, The Wellspring, Multitudes on Monday and Sacred Pauses
Latest posts by Diane W. Bailey (see all)
- What God Can Do with A Shattered Heart - September 5, 2022
- When It Is Time to Bring Your Ship Ashore - January 2, 2018
- Art Of Hospitality – How to Love Others As Ourselves - November 27, 2017
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Beautiful…story. I can see the waitress with her arm tatoo and understand her story and pain.
I really like this … it is about being real to those around you and taking notice.
You never know what will be found if you ask one question.
Thank you Barbara. You are right it is about taking notice. To notice where God is working in the crazy world around us.
You’re the best, Di. I can just hear you chatting it up with the waitress and listening – REALLY listening – to her story. And thanks for putting “How Deep The Father’s Love For Us” in my head this morning 🙂
(I’m hearing Fernando Ortega’s voice, and it is soooo beautiful!)
Susan! I have missed you. We nned to skype, so I can hear all about Guatamala! It is funny how God is working behind the scenes long before we realize. He had placed that sone in my head…over and over, the day before! He had already prepared the moment.
Hey there, sweet friend. I love your heart in this — to turn their hearts to them. That’s the point of all of it, isn’t it? To show His love, real, by thew way we live. No doubt His grace emanates from you and your life.
Precious Michelle! you are so very precious to me! I think I’m going to adopt you and your family…seriously! I wish you were not so far away Thank you for your kind words.
Oh, yes – you describe a missionary in a mission field – the everyman reaching, loving – and just praying. I’m reading Les Miserable – and one of the most important lines is “He called me brother” – no preaching, no moralizing – just loving and praying for the everyday man! I want to love like that, to listen and pray:)
Me too BlueCotton, me too. I guess that is why we get another chance each day.
This is the sweetest story, Diane. What a beautiful heart you have, my friend. Yes, I think she knew you care. 🙂
Thank you Laura, yes, I think she might have gotten the hint.
Thanks Diane. Love your listening…. It sings “How Deep The Father’s Love for Us”. Beautiful! Love the look of your new site too.
Thank you Barb. The new look has been a long time coming. That is one of my favorite songs to worship with. The words run so deeply in my heart.