I took myself out to lunch today at the little diner my friend and I like to frequent once a week or so. I sat at a table in the little back room with its burgundy oilcloth tablecloths, the salt and pepper shakers sitting neatly in the wire basket caddy along with the sugar and Sweet & Lo. I brought my copy of "The Jesus I Never Knew" to read while I sipped my coffee out of my thick, white ceramic mug while indulging in two evil cigarettes - one before lunch and one after. But I did more musing than reading.
It was Rhonda's birthday today, and someone had scribbled the announcement on the chalkboard over the cashier's desk. Rhonda, a sweet young mother of two came bubbling over to my table to show off her new birthday haircut. It was adorable, and I told her so. Rhonda always makes it a point to be friendly, and bubbly and kind. I sat there listening to the hubbub in the other room. All the waitresses were bubbly, and kind. They were bantering with the regulars, flirting with the 80-year-old men, squatting down to coo and ahhh at the baby in her car seat carrier. The waitresses there serve everyone joyfully, and serve everyone joy.
Isn't that what church should look like?
Last week Brenda and I were cashing out our $5.25 lunch special and talking to Rhonda about being "regulars" now. Rhonda started talking about how she cares about all the people there. She said that she'd noticed that one of her regulars, a man in his mid-80s, had been gone for a few days, and he's usually there every morning. Somehow from conversation she had an idea where this man lived, and so after work she drove around and found his place and knocked on the door. Undoubtedly he was surprised. She sat and visited with him for over an hour, and found out that he'd been in the hospital for a few days, which explained his absence. I'm sure he was touched that this waitress cared enough to track him down, (stalking him, the other waitresses teased her). What a loving and kind act.
I think the Antique Kitchen diner is what church should look like. I think I should be more like Rhonda, and I think I should tip her more than I do.