Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> EAGLES' REST: We Ordered Lunch. He Brought Blessing.

Friday, September 02, 2011

We Ordered Lunch. He Brought Blessing.

The young man in the photo over there, standing with his wife and daughter, is one Jeremy Fomby. He was our server today, at the Olive Garden Restaurant at the Riverchase Galleria.

Now, once again I need to mention that I'm really a shy guy, reluctant to speak first to strangers, all that sort of thing. So when Dennis Nunn mentioned asking our servers if there was anything in their life we could pray for, while we were asking God's blessing on our food, it didn't particularly ring my bell. Further, contrary to my nature, I've found it fun to ask servers about themselves, but heretofore not about Spiritual matters. We'd talk about things like is this their profession? Are they students? How long have they worked here? Stuff like that. Even that goes against my shyness, so to speak, so it's kind of a little victory when I go ahead and strike up a conversation.

The whole idea is analogous to my upcoming hernia repair surgery (next Tuesday): not that I'm going to enjoy going and doing it, but I know how much I'll enjoy having done it (in the past tense).

So, when Jeremy took our drink order (water, w/lemon, for both), I asked him if there was anything in his life we could pray about while we were asking God's blessing on the food. He brightened up and said yes, for his completion of college and success in his career. We asked, and made reference to Sports Fitness, personal training, things in that field.

He left but we did go ahead and thank God for Jeremy, asked for success in his field, and then asked His blessing on the food.

The whole meal was a delightful affair. The food was good, but we had a great time chatting with Jeremy, and about his church. Seems he goes to the New Life Evangelical Worship Center, and even mentioned he leads praise & worship there. It was at that point that something else struck me: he looks remarkably like Alphanso Blake, a good friend from Red Hills Baptist Church just outside Kingston, Jamaica. Al's a well-known Caribbean artist, having had art shows all over, and occasionally plays drums and leads worship at Red Hills. His picture is in one of my Facebook Albums, here.

We talked about lots of things, including our travels to Red Hills, and the fact that New Life Church in Bauska, Latvia, is another of my favorites. I did have to explain about the Soviet Union and all, as I'm not sure Jeremy was old enough (or even alive) to remember it.

We ordered lunch and asked one question. What we got was more food than we could eat.

Of both kinds......

2 Comments:

At 3:21 AM, September 12, 2011, Blogger Chris Ryan said...

Bob,

I've been waiting tables at an Olive Garden for more than a year and a half now. I can honestly tell you that in that time, I've only had one table offer to pray for me - and it was one of the brightest moments in what is otherwise a very bleak existence there. The guests are often quite rude, $2.13 an hour is terrible pay, and endless soup and salad takes a horrible toll on the body (as I well know... I meet the doc to talk knee surgery on Thursday). But every once in a while, someone smiles or genuinely asks how you are doing, and it makes all the difference in the world. Honestly, people doing that does more to brighten my day than any size tip.

On the flip side, the MOST frustrating thing in the world is when people are rude, don't talk to me to get to know anything about me and then leave me a tract. If they'd asked one or two questions, they might have just found out that I was a seminary student and they didn't have to evangelize me! Then I think about how often they act that way to other waiters and then leave them that same tract. My heart hurts because that person will never look twice at Christianity after having tables like that.

 
At 11:41 AM, September 12, 2011, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Chris, your comment made my day!

Even before I decided to ask servers if we could pray for them, I enjoyed talking to them about them. Are the students, is this going to be their profession, married, kids, etc. That's principally because I am by nature shy, and talking to others is a victory of sorts for me, mostly over myself.

Hang in there. You're learning things in what you're seeing now, that will play a big part in your ministry when you finish seminary.

 

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