Saturday, February 15, 2014

when the love of Jesus showed up at the pancake house

i was in the middle of writing my february "love post" for tomorrow morning, when my oldest daughter, emily, came bounding into the house all breathless and excited.

"mom, you're never going to believe what happened at breakfast just now!"

putting down the laptop, i came into the kitchen to hear her story.

she went on to tell me how she and a few of her friends were just at OPH (original pancake house) celebrating a couple of their birthdays. they were having a great time and before eating, the girls bowed their heads together at the table to pray. they didn't make a scene or cause a spectacle or do anything to draw any attention to themselves, they just confidently and comfortably prayed out loud together.

when they were finished, a middle aged couple approached them. the woman bent low at the table and said to the 8 teens. "that's awesome girls. that's so cool that you would pray together like that and not be all hushed up about it." she went on to say that so many times when people pray in public they get all quiet and quick and awkward about it -- like they might offend someone listening.

she and her husband just wanted to stop and let the girls know how wonderful it was to see them praying confidently together -- these eight, nice, normal teenage girls about to partake of a pancake feast.

such a neat thing for this lady and her husband to take the time to stop and tell them, right?

but the story isn't over.

when the girls finished breakfast and asked for their check, the waitress, with a big smile, informed them that it had already been taken care of. yep, that couple who stopped to encourage the girls also blessed them by paying their bill before leaving. she said the people who had paid for their breakfast wanted her to pass along the message, "God bless you."

the waitress then went on to tell the girls she had started to cry when this couple explained to her what they wanted to do.

emily and her friends were just blown away. all of them teared up and couldn't believe these people would do such a nice thing. as emily relayed the precious event to me, i, too, teared up.

i bet some of you are doing the same right now as you read this!


why is that such a big deal?

in a culture that is every day growing more and more offended by Christians, this is a story of pure sweetness. this is even a little taste of the victory to come with Christ. we are living in a world where Christians are beginning to look crazier and crazier. people watch us and don't get it. they don't get us. and, what's more, they don't even like us for our beliefs.

the last shall be first?
the weak will be made strong?
the foolish will become wise?


but wait a minute, that doesn't make a lick of sense.

aren't we supposed to take pride in being first and strong and wise? aren't we supposed to take care of numero uno?

why did this couple choose to sacrifice their money and make the effort to pay for a bunch of teenage girls? (and emily informed me they had by no means ordered lightly).

though Christ was sent for the world, the world certainly isn't able to always make sense of Him. even the love of Jesus sometimes looks a bit like lunacy.

but it's not like we should be surprised, right?

"for the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." ~ 1 corinthians 1:18

plain and simple, the things of Jesus just don't always make sense.

strangely enough, the post i was writing about for tomorrow is also using a verse where paul talks about us crazy Christians:

"if we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. for Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. and he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again." ~ 2 corinthians 5:13-15

so as Christ-followers why do we do what we do? why do we look a little different or crazy or even downright cuckoo to the world? paul cuts right to the chase in this passage when he writes, "Christ's love compels us." 
it compels us to be bold.
it compels us to look a little different.
it even compels us to look a little "out of our mind."

no, it doesn't make sense to the world and its ways. it shouldn't.
we are in the world, but not of the world.

please hear me, i'm not in any way advocating lunacy. (though you might question that from the state of our home some most days). but we certainly should stand out for Christ. we should have the sweet aroma of Jesus around us everywhere we go and in everything we do.

people should know we are Christians by our love.

i'll touch more on that in tomorrow's devotional post (on my sparrow facebook page ) ... but i just had to pound out this story and share it tonight.

be blessed.
be bold.
Christian, don't ever be afraid to claim Christ ...
you might not get your bill paid at a pancake house, but that's okay, your debt was paid by Christ when He died for our sins -- in love.

and when we remember that, how can it not compel us in our love for Him?


Barb Hayes said...

Thank you for sharing such a sweet story which is so unusual in today's world. What an impact this will have on these teens lives from now on. Praise God!

beth said...

Yes, I teared up! Those girls will never forget the kindness showed to them and will be encouraged in their walk. What a sweet story! Blessings on the girls and on that couple who followed His prompting.

Sammy said...