Yesterday evening we were eating dinner at TGI Fridays celebrating my in-laws anniversary after a day at the zoo. As I sat there enjoying the company of our family and we were discussing the days’ events and the 34-years of marriage my in-laws were celebrating, I was caught off-guard by a young woman sitting a few tables away – alone. When I first noticed her I tried to assess whether she was just waiting on someone to return from the restroom or a phone call they may have taken outside. I would go from conversing with our table to once-again being distracted by this young woman as she half-heartedly finished her meal and drink.
As I sat there wondering why I couldn’t stop wondering about this woman and her circumstance – and why in the world I was distracted by her – it wasn’t a physical-distraction, but a nudging in my heart – I leaned over to my wife, Jess, and told her that I had to “do something uncomfortable” and explained what was going on in my heart and head. Even after I made my intentions “public” (to my wife), I still warred over whether or not to even get out of my chair.
I got up from our table and approached this woman and sat across from her in her booth as I introduced myself in as awkward a fashion as you can imagine. She sheepishly greeted me and didn’t ask me to leave. I told her my name was Stevan and that I was here with my family and that I was drawn to ask if there was anything I could pray for her about? She paused for just a moment – and then instantly replied, “Please pray for my mother.” I nodded and asked if her mother was sick and she nodded in reply and I told her that I would indeed pray for her mother. I asked her if I could pray right there with her and she hesitated, acknowledged that she was “trying to clear her head” and said she’d rather not. I told her that I would share with my family about her mother and that we would pray be praying for her. I shook her hand and asked her name – “Audra” – and went back to my table.
I prayed for Audra and her mother last night – and again this morning – and numerous times in between.
I also thanked God for His courage to step away from the comforts of my table and family-bubble to interact with this woman last evening. I wonder how many opportunities like what happened last night I have passed right by because of a lack of courage or dare I say – disinterest.
God, please continue to direct me in non-threatening ways to those in need of a touch from You.