I’ve had some serious issues with my eyes since July and have been seen several times a month by an eye specialist for close watch and treatment. A few days ago, returning home from an appointment that went especially well, I felt a little celebrating was in order. The day was cold and damp and a pecan waffle and cup of coffee seemed perfect.
For a pecan waffle, I needed a Waffle House, and though I would pass two on my way home, I felt I was to go to one in particular. I couldn’t make sense of it, but it was as if some happy little experience awaited me there.
They weren’t busy at 2 in the afternoon, so I had picking choice of where to sit and I slid into a booth near where the food was being prepared. A waitress quickly appeared and said, “This is not my station, but I can get you some coffee until Doris can get here.” Soon, Doris came and asked for my order. “Pecan waffle,” I said. She nodded, turned, and repeated the order to the cook. Then, turning back to me, she said, “Do you want just a plain waffle?” Odd, I thought, but repeated I wanted a pecan waffle. Doris turned again toward the cook and said “She wants a pecan waffle.” “Yes, I have it,” the cook said. No hint of frustration in his voice, just kindness. I could not miss the kindness.
While I waited, someone I assumed to be a manager appeared and Doris went up to him to tell him something she needed in the way of a uniform. He told her yes, he had ordered it for her. Again, there was noticeable kindness in his voice.
Something is going on with this waitress and the staff, I said to myself. They are taking care of her! There must be some manner of concern for Doris and they have decided to help her however they can. Memory was obviously a problem, but it wasn’t annoying anyone. Maybe she had a sick husband or mother or child that she was caring for and needed this job. Maybe she was the one sick or in a serious financial situation. Whatever it was, it was a beautiful thing to see Doris’s co-workers and supervisor walking with her through it all. When I paid, Doris said “I enjoyed waiting on you.” Oh, Doris, I mused, you have no idea how much I have enjoyed your waiting on me!
Now, that’s it. The end of my little side trip to the Waffle House. The reason I wanted to tell you about it is because we are in a seriously angry place in our nation and I loved seeing people helping people. No ego problems, no complaining, no tongue wagging about Doris’s memory. Just people doing what they could to help, for whatever the reason. I needed this little smile maker and heart booster because I am weary with the out-of-control behavior I see daily on television. I am tired of posturing by politicians who have been too long on the job. Their intention is to impress, but my reaction is disappointment. I am sick of seeing out-of-control adults, and even more, their encouraging young people to act out the same way. This is far more than angry, inappropriate words; it is deliberate damage to properties that don’t belong to them and injury to people who don’t agree.
I’m just too old to ever understand this. I grew up in a time when you respected authority or paid the consequences. My voting in elections has never been strictly one party or the other; I’ve been independent. Sometimes my candidate has won, sometimes not, but once it was over, I accepted it. Yes, I’ve been on the side of an election where the winner left a bad taste in my mouth and fear in my heart, but I didn’t let those feelings rule me, I ruled my feelings. There’s a little matter of what God has to say, as well: “Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong” (Romans 13:1-3 NLT).
What I witnessed in a Waffle House on a cold afternoon was a gift from the Lord. Had I not gone in expecting something good to happen, I might have missed it; but I went in with an expectation of blessing and I sure received it. The pecan waffle was great and the sane and caring behavior of people even better.
(Doris is not the real name of the waitress.)