Disclaimer: No Leon Timbos were kicked under the table (though he should’ve been for making me eat “Boo’s Boo’s” bacon against my will and better judgment) during this ordeal.
We didn't argue her points, interrupt with doctrine; we just listened, laughed (a lot), and "heard" her speak. Leon didn't give her his CD & I didn't give her the link to my blog. There was no space for it in this case. She had no idea we were both strong followers/believers of Christ when she basically told us that the Bible was for the birds. Most waitresses introduce themselves, maybe crack a joke or somethin’ but I mean we were literally greeted with her disbelief that God was lit...THEN...she took our drink orders. Lol. Thirsty, caught off guard –and though slightly entertained- we knew something was being assigned to us. All signs pointed to “do the work”. Once she left to fill our orders, Leon looks at me, asks if I’m ready to work, I say let’s work, and we told her to pull up a chair.
Leon was pretty much Kermit in every “but that’s none of my business” meme when he choked on his “coffee” listening to this woman’s story. I started making a pyramid out of those little mini creamers just to keep myself preoccupied and from reacting the way I wanted to. I mean the things she was saying you’d think were scripted because no way was this story really was being told to us, late, in an empty Waffle House. No way.
We learned all about how she once worked in a chicken factory and how the prisoner who worked there during his sentence stole her heart. I mean he had her hemmed up with promises that he could flip this and do that. No lie…she told us all of this. Hella personal. :/ According to her, she was the best at cutting chickens but not good enough to keep his eye the way her coworker could. –drama- We learned all about how she had a girlfriend, well, did…and how she just went through a pretty dramatic break up –over trash that hadn’t been taken out-. You guys, I honestly can’t describe to you this woman’s character while telling these stories. We were literally choking on our food; sometimes laughing, other times in complete disbelief. She was hood with a bit of country and inexperience but…oddly seasoned in something that just felt familiar. I’m guessing it was the part of life where everything just sucks. We’ve all been there.
In between these prerequisite stories for an Award-winning Lifetime movie, she’d mention little bits of scripture. It was enough to show you that she knew, or at least had run into God a few times in the past. That was our loophole. We both knew it. So, anyway, she left to go do something waitressy and we just sat there looking at each other like “Really?” Lol. We then attempted to think up a game plan but that’s just it, THERE WAS NO GAME PLAN. After a while; we both felt it necessary to just keep listening. So we did…
Soon, we would start to hear stories about how her siblings were favored over her growing up. We heard about how she didn’t have a car and her grandmother decided to give one to her jerk brother instead. She was on foot with three kids and living in a hotel room. We heard that she took care of her family and would buy them Aeropostle shirts and to dine out when she got her taxes back. We heard how her manager wouldn’t allow her to receive one of the biggest tips she had ever gotten as a waitress of $44.83. She needed that man… What got me the most was that she believed this job to be the “good job.” Not that waitressing is a bad job, but she had no idea, or at least she didn’t mention it, that there was more to aspire to; even management or ownership opportunities. She hadn’t experienced the possibility of anything else. It really started to sink in that it wasn’t that she was a non-believer. It wasn’t that she didn’t believe God to be God. She was hurting. She was hitting walls every which way and I understood how a person could feel imprisoned when doing the right thing was always the jailer. After a while, you start to believe good is…no good. You get tired of hoping.
We saw right through her. That night, I really saw God. He showed us that there are times to interject the “BUT God..” and there are times to simply “BE like God” in certain situations. That night, we were listening ears and open hearts. Nothing says God like I hear you.
I’m learning that it’s not always about the influence you have or the ministry you started. It’s not about how much of the Word you know or even YOUR experience in life. Not every situation requires your testimony or your story to be told. You’re not always required to relate to people. More often than not, God is pushing us to hear and see other people as He does and in that, it is extremely important to discern when He’s simply telling us to shut up and listen. Stop watching and look. SEE people!
It was getting later and after she pretty much finished her story, Leon thanked her on our behalf for opening up to us the way she did. We thanked her for sharing her heart and through her story, we knew that she was a giver and that her heart was pure. He then dropped the bomb. *drum roll*……. “We are Christians.”
She didn’t have a super memorable reaction, nor was she embarrassed for how she came at us earlier. We let her know that not all followers of Christ were like the ones who had left a negative imprint on her in the past. “We ain’t them…” is something like what I remember him saying.
That night, we each left her a tip of $44.83. We left amazed at that encounter and how organic it was. She got the money and we were the ones feeling rich!
Honestly, I was expecting to lowkey preach, but there was no room to because this act of Christ was to listen; to plant a reminder that God is always there. That’s all some people need. She wasn't ready to receive in a way that we were ready to send the invitation and I think we both sensed it. She left with no long list of scripture references, but with a simple knowing that we were in fact followers of Christ and that BECAUSE of that, we appreciated her transparency and left her a HUGE tip. God doesn't need defense. He needs people to do and recognize that witnessing isn't in trying to do His job. It's in being human and doing ours. It’s in witnessing the people and the world around us without becoming a part of it. It’s in pinpointing the dark spots and moving how HE tells us to move in THAT particularly situation.
Grateful for the experience…
Leon, payback is not far from you. But thanks for working with me partner!
Small story behind “boo’s boo’s bacon”: The waitress preferred the bacon made by her coworker “Boo Boo” so she saved a few pieces in this little refrigerator. She starts telling us about how Boo Boo makes the best bacon in the place and offers some. Leon says no and before I could, he’s like “she’d like to though” with this sinister smirk on her face. This waitress was so excited that she left to grab it before I could really decline. She brought it back and I felt smooth like Bruce on Matilda being made to eat that cold bacon. No deep story…just giving you background. Lol.