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

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Woman of Firehouse Subs

I grabbed my book and entered Firehouse Subs for a quick lunch while out running some errands last week. After placing my order and stressing out at the drink machine (however I am getting more proficient at the 120+ selection -- you can read about that here), I found a table by the window.  The woman who stood behind and ordered after me took the table directly in front of me.

As I waited for my chili to arrive, I took out God's Favorite Place on Earth, which is not Firehouse Subs, mind you, (though I do think Jesus might enjoy a good "Hook and Ladder,") but Bethany ... and the title of the book.  I turned to the page where I had left off and began reading.  But what happened next disturbed me so that I had a hard time concentrating.  The lady I mentioned earlier, who was probably a few years older than I, pulled out a book, too!  The only difference was that she was sitting with her husband and I was alone.  At first I thought she might be sharing something with him out of the book.  But, no, she starting reading, and all I could think of was, "How rude!"  I kept watching just knowing, hoping really, that any minute she would put it down and give him her attention.  But she didn't.  Her nose remain buried.

And the amazing thing?  He sat there perfectly content.  No disgruntled look.  No exasperation on his face.  No heavy sighs.  He wasn't even watching the television in the far corner.  He just gazed on her with pure contentment. Yeah, every now and then he would say something and she might look up and answer, but for the most part, she was totally engrossed in the suspense novel she was reading, completely oblivious to the man at the table.  Her husband.

I finished my chili before their food ever arrived and left the eatery with my book  -- along with a hardened feeling toward the woman who was being so callous toward her husband.  How, indeed, could she treat him with such insensitivity?


Until the next morning when I came into my sun room, my "sacred space," to meet with the Lord and He reminded me of my own indifference.  My own carelessness in OUR relationship.  For how often have I lit my candle to signify this hallowed time -- but instead of talking with Him, picked up a "book" to read. It may have been in the form of checking messages on my phone ... or seeing what was posted on Facebook the night before or what pictures had been added in Instagram.  A return email may have gotten first dibs of the morning.  Or it may have been a book with real pages just like the lady at Firehouse.  The point is, how in the world could I throw such jagged stones when I, myself, have done the same thing time and time again to the Lover of my soul?  

Ironically, as much as I am that woman of Firehouse Subs, I also saw the Lord in the face and attitude of her husband.  Indeed, God looks at me like her spouse looked upon her.  With no judgment.  No annoyance.  No irritation.  None of these things.

No, He looks upon me with persistent love and patient longing ... just waiting for me, like the woman's bridegroom, to turn my gaze toward Him and acknowledge His presence.

And so I do.  I put down my book ... and my stone.

Just an ordinary moment...

1 comment:

Carol Mathias said...

thanks Nancy....what a humbling and gracious reminder of how our loving God uses everything, including Firehouse Sub to capture our hearts and remind us of His Love for us. Love this...needed this!