Today I went alone to the local diner Brenda and I frequent. Rhonda, the angelic looking waitress with her big blonde curls and enormous blue eyes asked if Brenda was coming in, and I had to tell her that Brenda is home now for a week or so under a doctor's care. Rhonda had told us last week that she had bought us something. How remarkable that this waitress would care so much about her customers as she does. Rhonda's the one who worried about one of her elderly customers when he didn't show up for a few days, and found out where he lived and knocked on his door one day. He'd been in the hospital, and I'm sure he was so touched by her visit. Rhonda's a feisty one though, too. About two weeks ago a couple she waited on did a "dine and dash" without paying their bill and Rhonda ran after them into the parking lot yelling, "Get the f**k back here!" I laughed so hard when she told me that. When she gave the police the license number it turned out there were several outstanding warrants for the man's arrest.
So when I went in today and explained why I was alone, Rhonda went out to her car and came back to my table bearing two gift bags. Inside each was a small white figurine of an angel with pink roses at the base. Rhonda said that she knew that things had been difficult lately for us and that sometimes we need something to make us feel a little better. There, in a little diner, was such a presence of God and Church. For some reason a little while later Rhonda started telling me more about herself and how she'd been a drug addict until two years ago. She got clean because she was afraid of losing her kids. I told her we have a lot of people in our church who have been addicts or in rehab and we talked about Threads and I invited her to come and told her how amazing the people are there. When I left I gave her my business card and said to call me, or just come into church and ask for me and someone will find me. And then I said, Oh, I don't mean to keep going on about my church so much, and she said no, I think you were meant to. And I said maybe it was the angels.
So I walked out of that diner with two little gift bags holding dollar store angels, feeling blessed by such a beautiful expression of how God wants us to love each other, and thinking about Darla and her coffeehouse idea and what community is truly meant to be.