"What He ordains for us each moment is what is most holy, best, and most divine for us." Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Rare and Unusual Family

Sandy and I frequent a little mom and pop “diner” here in town. You’ll find us there about every Saturday morning for breakfast and every Sunday after church for lunch. Even on a weekday, we might stop in for a real homemade hamburger. When leaving a couple of weeks ago, Sandy made the comment, “I swear, even if the food was terrible,” (which it’s not), “I’d still come here just because of the people.” And that’s the truth.

Though it’s rare that we go in and don’t see a familiar face, even the not familiar have grown recognizable. We may not know the names of all the customers, but we certainly know their faces. And as for the staff – dishwasher and cooks included, we not only know each of their names, I even have their birthdays written on my calendar at home so I can make sure they get their favorite cake.

Where else but My Sister’s Café can a waitress pull out her cell phone and show you pictures of her dog? Or another tell about mud-bogging the night before? If it’s slow, they’ll even take their shoes off and sit down with you for awhile. And if it’s busy, we pour our own coffee and bus our own tables.

We have jokingly called it “ministry,” but lately, it has been more than that. We actually were saddened when we learned that a favorite waitress (who dubbed Sandy “Sunshine”) decided not to come back from “vacationing” in Florida last week. Not only was she tired, but her dad was sick and her marriage on the rocks. I wish I had done more.

And it’s certainly not odd to have Millie, the owner, spend the entire meal with you – and we don’t mind. Today was one of those days for us. But each time we learn a little more of her life story. She came from a broken home; was raised by her dad who was an alcoholic and took care of her grandfather who was an invalid; has a sister who is bipolar; lost not one but two children to death; suffered for 5 years from agoraphobia and wouldn’t leave her house; lost her husband before it was time. She’s no doubt a survivor. But to just have a casual acquaintance with Millie, you’d never know these things. Her life is characterized by joy and a deep faith hammered out on the anvil of life.

As for me? I was feeling sorry for myself tonight ...

Maybe I need to visit My Sister's again soon, sit awhile, and just get a little perspective.


Patti said...

You can be on my invitation list anytime!

Aren’t you thankful that Jesus’ invitation is for any and everyone!!?? He is sooooo good to us!!

Love! Patti

seeker08 said...

I also wasn't invited. Life on earth is too short to worry. I don't think it is part of God's plan. You are loved by many!

constantlyrunningtoHim said...

Wow, that is definitely a ministry. People want to know that you care before they care what you know. What an awesome way to share Jesus!
You can come over to my place anytime, since i'm sure i'll get a little slice of beach! God sure knows it holds a special place in my heart...
And girl, you have a standing invitation to the biggest party of your life! The one with Jesus!