Jesus At The Waffle House
Normally I would quote some scripture here, but once again I needed to give my last bible away while on another wonderful journey. Still, I think I will quote Jesus when He said, “Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you will find, and knock and the door shall be opened for you.” It is also written that ..”we do not have because we do not ask.” Proving to me at least that Jesus always wants to yes to those who follow Him. Knowing this fact it baffles me that we do not ask for Christ’s help more often than what we do. Jesus wants to help us 100% of the time, so why can’t we give ourselves to Him 100% of the time. Maybe it is because we are too prideful and self focused and absorbed?
My road trip to Florida and back was wonderful. I was deeply encouraged by some great people who were seeking simple, rich, relational fellowship with Christ and members of His Body. I just hope I was as encouraging to them as they were to me. Over coffee or over meals Jesus blessed our conversations and drew us nearer to Himself and one another.
As always the highlight of my trip was spending time with my soon to be 95 year old “Aunt” Marie. If I have ever encountered a true saint in my life it has to be Marie. She is the most accepting, non-judgmental, loving, person on the planet. I have never heard her say one bad word about anyone ever. And if others begin to say something negative about someone in her midst..Marie just says we need to pray for that person a little more. When I am with my Aunt we talk, eat and play cards until our fingers bleed. I so deeply love my Aunt Marie and am abundantly blessed to have her in my life. She is still strong in Spirit, sound in mind, but weak in body. She moves a lot slower than she used to, shuffling along rather than walking, but she still is up for me taking her out the eat a fresh broiled fish supper. Spending time with her refreshes my Spirit and soul. We all need people in our lives that do that for us.
I also got to spend time with my oldest friend Dave. We met in school when we were 11 and that means we have been in each other’s lives for nearly 44 years. We have been there for each other through both the good times and the bad. We also love each other enough to challenge each other to stay true to the will and ways of Christ. Sometimes we need friends to help redirect our course when we might be getting off track.
The last 3 days of my trip I stayed with my college buddy Doug. For 33 years we have been more than friends. It was good to spend time with Doug who yearns for more authentic fellowship in his life. He took me out for real Georgia barbecue and we feasted together.
Now to get back to the ask, seek, knock…. I left Augusta early Saturday morning. At about noon I was getting hungry and pulled into a Waffle House in North Carolina wanting to get a pecan waffle. The place was packed and I was told it would be a 20 minute wait for a seat. Then at the end of the counter I spied an empty seat at a small table for 2. There was an older lady sitting there, but I heard Jesus telling me to ask the woman if I could sit there with her, not knowing if she was with someone else who might be coming soon or just might be in the rest room. In a moment I fought off negativity, fear and insecurities about approaching a stranger in a situation like this and instead yielded to Christ and went up to the woman and asked if I could sit there with her. She smiled and said “certainly”.
The waitress took our order right away and then I introduced myself to Patricia. This led to a brief conversation of what brought me to North Carolina because she noticed right away that I did not have a southern accent. I explained the purpose of my trip South and how I loved to travel and encourage those seeking a more relational way of following Jesus and BEING the church together. It seems my sharing scratched Patricia right where she had an itch. She said that in all her 74 years she never found a “church” worth belonging to….She got nothing out of their sermons and was irked by their constant appeal for more and more money in their offering plates. We continued to converse while eating our lunch, but then she stopped abruptly and told me that the Jesus and faith that I described to her was more than worth following and she wanted to ask Him into her life right then and there. So right there in that very busy Waffle House we prayed together and she asked Jesus to reign supreme in her life from that moment on. It was amazing! Then it was time for both of us to leave and we embraced and exchanged phone numbers. Before she pulled away in her car I ran to my car and got my bible and gave it her asking her to focus on the Gospel of John.
Simply amazing isn’t it? All because I trusted Jesus enough to provide when I ask, seek or knock. I heard Jesus tell me to ask Patricia if I could sit with her and instead of second guessing, rationalizing, or being timid I chose to obey His voice and step out in faith and boldness. Opportunities like this abound all around us. When are we going to finally learn to “take advantage of every opportunity for the days are evil”? Stories like this should abound and be commonplace among those who love and serve Jesus. Simple Spirit led conversations bear fruit far beyond the grandest of any sermon or traditional “church” service.