As we drove back from Lake Junaluska, Jim and I discussed plans for lunch. We hoped to stop at a Crackerbarrel before reaching Columbia. After we left the Spartanburg area, I checked our map of their locations and found that the next one would be in Irmo. We were hoping to stop sooner as it was past one o’clock and when the next exit came up, we noticed a Waffle House was available. After turning off, we discovered the restaurant was 2.5 miles down the road and were a bit frustrated. We like to stop at places that are almost visible from the highway. Oh, well, we joked it wasn’t as far as the time we stopped at Biscoe, NC only to discover the McDonald’s was five miles from the exit. I didn’t really complain but it seemed like a waste of time. We forged ahead and sure enough there was the Waffle House. Our adventure arranged by the Lord was about to begin.
We have a favorite waitress at the Waffle House in Conway, a young African-American woman with a terrific smile and personality. She shares her smile with everyone and dearly loves the Lord. When our waitress appeared at our table, I couldn’t help but notice the similarity to Teresa in Conway. She was beaming and her joy was evident in her smile. Jim and I commented to each other on her reminding us of Teresa. We would have a great lunch!
Since we’d eaten quite well at Junaluska, we opted for a waffle each and coffee. Service was okay and I asked for a large coffee to go. Since Christmas was approaching and our bill was so small, we decided to leave a $5.00 tip along with one of the cards I’d had printed with John 3:16 on them. We leave a card whenever we leave a tip in the hope of planting a seed. This idea was not original. I’d borrowed it from Bobbie Toomey who was in a bible study with me about ten years ago. I used to print them myself but had recently ordered some on black card stock with the earth on the left and the bible verse on the right. When the cards came, I was at first disappointed because the verse was in bright blue ink but not that outstanding. You really had to focus on the printing to see what it said. I changed my mind quite quickly, however, when I realized that anyone receiving the card would have to look closely to see the words. Curiosity would lead the receiver to truly read the card! I praised God for His intervention. It just couldn’t get any better.
Now, back to the story at Waffle House. I had a bit of difficulty in getting the coffee to go and at one time I probably would have thought about lowering the tip, but God was at work on my heart. Jim and I left and walked to our car. I was just getting situated in the driver’s seat when the waitress approached my window. She was nearly in tears and wanted to thank us for the card. She explained that she’d been having some problems and felt that the Lord had sent her this message that things would improve. I got out of the car, we hugged and I asked her name. She smiled through her tears and pointed to her name badge. Her name was Kea. I promised that we would pray for her daily and we parted with wishes for a Merry Christmas.
As Jim and I left, we thanked God for the opportunity to meet Kea and remind her of His love for her. How thankful we were that we got off there, didn’t turn around, and followed His lead. What a wonderful opportunity to touch someone that we might have missed had we not been flexible. We pray for Kea every day now. Please continue to take us on detours, Lord. Your plan is so much better than ours!