I have gone out to eat alone before. Most of the time I hated it.
After my divorce and before I met Vince, there were weekends when the boys were with their dad and I didn't have any plans and, well I just didn't want to spend another Saturday night home alone. So I would go shopping or out to eat by myself, sometimes both. Not very often because I usually tried to plan something with friends when the boys were gone, but sometimes it didn't work out that way. I found it embarrassing to be at a restaurant alone, so I would try to make it look like I was waiting for someone. One time I even asked for a table for two, and then told the waitress that the other person couldn't make it. Sigh. I know. Those were the days before smart phones, or at least I didn't have one, so I couldn't occupy myself with that. And I just didn't want people looking at me or feeling sorry for me or assuming that I didn't have anyone. Sometimes I would call my best friend or my sister and talk through the whole meal. It sounds pathetic, I know, and maybe it would have been better to just get take out and eat at home (which I did sometimes) but on these nights the thought of spending the whole evening home alone was just too depressing.
No one ever came over and sat by me and if they did, I'm not sure how I would have felt about that. But that is what I wanted to do when I saw this man eating alone at Perkins on a Saturday morning. Had he just lost his wife? Was he lonely? Or was he just fine? I pondered this and considered going over and asking if I could sit with him. I wished that I had noticed earlier so Vince and I could have invited him to sit with us. (Would we have actually done that, or just thought about it? Hmm.) When the waitress returned with his bill I noticed that he was wearing a dark blue cap, covered in patches and pins. He was a veteran. That made me want to talk to him even more. As he got his wallet out and got up to pay, I thought of offering to pay for his meal. Would he appreciate that or would he feel pitied? Should I let him have his dignity and pay for his own meal? Or would he feel honored and special? I analyzed and hesitated my way through the opportunity and before I did anything at all he was out the door. And I missed it. I missed the chance to bless someone.
I thought about the scripture about always being ready to talk about the hope that we have in Christ. Always be ready....yesterday, I wasn't ready. I wasn't even in the frame of mind to bless someone. I hadn't asked God to give me an opportunity to bless others that day, and I'm ashamed to say I haven't done that in some time. I've been too occupied with my own things, my own agenda, my own needs and wants and distractions. So as I found myself there, my heart and mind weren't ready. If it had been, I might not have hesitated or questioned myself so long. I would have been ready as soon as I saw the opportunity to go over and sit with that man, talk to him, and offer him some hope. Maybe he needed it, and maybe he didn't, but hope is never wasted. We can never have enough of it. Maybe I would have been a bother...or maybe I could have changed his whole day?
Next time, I hope I will be ready.
Here are some hi-lights from the rest of our weekend. We were a bit late to church today and decided to sit in the foyer since worship was already going on and we didn't want to be "those people" trying to find a seat in the dark. Our church has a pretty relaxed atmosphere, and is very much into hospitality. In the foyer there are tables set up, couches, a coffee bar, and several screens live-streaming the sermon and worship going on inside the sanctuary. We liked sitting at tables, it's easier to drink coffee and take notes, but we felt a bit separated from what was going on in the sanctuary - kind of like we were watching instead of participating - so I don't think we will do it again. But I think it's an awesome option for people who want or need something other than the traditional. Inside or outside the sanctuary...on couches or pews or chairs or tables...connecting with Jesus is all that matters.
After church, Vince and I picked up my step-dad Curt and took him to Fleet Farm to do some shopping. It was nice to spend some time with him, and he enjoyed getting out and about for a bit (and getting himself a new Twins shirt)! It's been just over a year since mom died, and Curt is really doing well now. He was pretty isolated for a long time, didn't want to socialize or leave his room, and he had some physical setbacks. But now, he's made friends at the nursing home, he goes to all the activities, and seems pretty happy...and since I work there I get to see him most every day, which is nice!
And also I'm not sure why I look like such a weirdo in this picture...
Then, since the kids were otherwise occupied, Mr. W and I decided to have a late lunch/early dinner, and indulged in some nachos and margaritas at Mango's...hello!!!
And finally, after a few loads of laundry and mowing the lawn (ok, Vince did all that while I was blogging), we wrapped up this beautiful evening with some wine, vegies, and conversation out on our deck.
Very relaxing...I love our life!!!