She had been drawn to them when she walked in. The lunch crowd had not yet landed so open tables were everywhere. But she chose the one closest to these women. Something about them. They never even looked up. They were engrossed in conversation as she sat her back to them in the very next booth.
Something about the way they sat there, comfortable in their own skin made her wish to join them. They didn’t glance around to see who was coming or going. The way they poured into each other suggested the waters of friendship ran deep. She leaned back to better hear their prayer, not eating, not breathing deeply. Soaking in each and every word. Oh, that someone would pray like that over her.
They left soon after the prayer. She watched them leave and walk into the parking lot. And hope drove off in a Honda.
Her food was cold. She didn’t care. She didn’t know. Her body fed itself, arms and mouth moving in synchronization. Lift. Chew. Lift. Chew. Standing to leave, she slung her purse on her arm and gathered her trash. Anxious to be alone, she scurried to her car, got in, and shut the door. She glanced over her shoulder. Heart racing, she swallowed and opened her mouth to speak. Nothing came out. Her tongue stuck to the roof of her mouth. She tried again. “God?”
She never really believed in God, but then again she didn’t not believe in Him either. So she never really expected for Him to actually answer her. When she asked Him if He could show her caring people, it was a rhetorical question, like “Am I the only person on this highway that knows how to drive?” She never imagined He would reply. But He did. She saw His response over curly fries and diet coke.
“God? I’m not sure if you can hear me. If you can, honk the horn on my car.” She waited for all of three seconds, “Okay, so you don’t have to honk the horn, but anyways, I need some help. And seeing how I think you are in the business of helping people. Could you help me? I know that you– I mean I think I know– I mean– did you send those two ladies for me to see?”
She paused as if waiting for Him to answer, and then continued. “God, I don’t think I can take much more. Nothing seems to be going right for me.” She held her tears in check, afraid if she let them go they wouldn’t stop. “Well, I guess you already know what happened. It’s just not fair. I don’t care what anyone says; I’m not better off now.” Feeling the anger start as a tight ball in her middle and climbing up to almost choke her, she took a deep breath.
“I’ll tell you what. I’ll go to church if you’ll just send one person to let me know it’s going to be okay. Okay?”
“Oh, what I am even thinking. This is crazy,” she mumbled to herself, jerking herself out of a hope-filled state. She dug through chewing gum wrappers and coupons to find her keys. As soon as her hand felt the cold metal of the key ring, she jerked it from her purse sending her wallet flying, dumping all her business cards, credit cards, and little bit of cash all on the floor board of her car. Too angry to pick them up, she slammed the key in the ignition and peeled out of the parking lot. She gunned the gas not caring about $3.58 a gallon. As soon as her car hit third gear, the light turned red, and she slammed on the brakes.
Of course, she thinks and glances at the clock, I’m going to be late for my shift. Her fingers anxiously tap the steering wheel as she stares at the light and begins to wonder why it’s even red. The streets are deserted. She waits. And stares, until her eyes fall on a big LED billboard just as it changes.
Looking for a place to call home?
CHRIST CALVARY CHAPEL
Sunday Services 9:30 and 11:00 a.m.
44 W. Pike Blvd.
To be continued…