After Saturday evening mass, we decided on a restaurant near home because we had a full day and it’s just comfortable there. At the last minute, we made a U turn to Denny’s for dinner which is closer to our Church. Kay recognized me and said she was “off” but going to stick around because the one waiter on the clock was late and the only one to serve the whole restaurant. I saw her expression that asked why I was there by myself but she did not want to ask. My husband was outside smoking a cigarette but would be in shortly. She quickly brought our coffee and then signaled that her husband was at the next table having dinner with friends. I first met Kay a few months ago when she served my brother and me. I would meet my brother for early breakfast before we both went to work. My brother travels from another city to work on a construction project. One day I complimented Kay’s eyeshadow and eyelashes as the most fantastic I had ever seen. At 60 years young, she is beautiful with great skin. She told me which lashes to buy at Walgreen’s and she promised to put them on for me. I agreed that one day when I have a special occasion to attend that I would come to Denny’s and she could help me get my eyelashes on. Six months later and I still have no occasion for the eyelashes. The last time I saw Kay, about two or three weeks ago, I left her a prayer card with her tip.
Praise God that we can enjoy a nice dinner together and we talked about my husband’s fishing trip the next day. Half way through my meal, Kay stopped by to tell us about the man sitting on the other side of the table.
“That man over there, on the other side of the partition? He knows God.” She clasped her hands. “He used to work here. He got fired and then he gave up. He was homeless and hungry. His life has changed.” I glanced at Jack because I felt like we were talking about someone else in the room. Well, we were talking about someone else. Again, she knew what I was thinking. “It’s ok. He will tell you too.” Kay continued, “He went on the side of the highway and threw his hands up and said this is it. I can’t take this hunger anymore. God take me.” The hair on her arms raised and she said her head felt cold. “I get chills about this. He said a work truck with Mexican laborers slowed down to give him their bag of food. Just like that. People who did not have much to offer and they offered him so much.” She said that day, he gave his life to God. He has his life back together now with a place to live and a very good job.
“I want to tell you. I love God.” She said. “I am sick and he helps me. I have an illness in my stomach and I can’t eat food. I need to eat food so that I can take my medicine. I eat broth and that’s not enough and I worry because I need to eat food. I pray to God and I said ‘God, you gave us your body so that we can live.’ With you God, I have all I need. You will take care of me.” There it was. Her faith and trust to live by God’s will. Whatever it was, she offered it up to him. Her chills returned. I could visibly see the hairs on her arms raise and the joy in her face. “I don’t need surgery anymore. I went back to the doctor and I don’t need the surgery.” She says, “Honey, I have lots of stories to tell how God has brought me through. I want to tell them.” The lone waiter on staff asked Kay if she could seat the guests that just arrived. She apologized for taking our time and said she would be right back. She is welcomed back by both of us. Her husband and his guests had already paid their bill and left the restaurant. My husband took a call and then walked outside for a cigarette break.
Kay returned. “You know I work long hours. I make good money here. Sometimes the manager only give me a few tables and I still make money. I don’t worry because God always gives me what I need.” Kay is a spitfire and a popular waitress that knows many people in the restaurant. I have heard people requesting her tables from the hostess. “I hear people that don’t believe in God. It makes me so sad that I cry. How can they not know?” Her heart was heavy. “I see a lot of people come in here and they tell me how bad their life is. I help when I can, sometimes $5 or $10. The Manager gets mad. It always come back to me though. God always makes a way and provides. I don’t worry.” She shook her head no. “People will tell me good luck. I tell them I don’t need luck because I am blessed.” We talked a little longer. While Kay started to put her jacket on and decided to call it a night, I wrapped up the rest of my meal and paid our ticket. I walked outside and my husband was leaning on the truck with another cigarette and on the phone with his sister consoling her because she had a setback from her sobriety. Kay’s husband? Waiting outside patiently for her.
God is good to me. In my family, I have had a number of setbacks that were of major life significance beginning in 2010. I wasn’t a believer that fully trusted God. I thought I was. When things went bad, to worse, I wondered if God heard me and knew that I was here and why didn’t he answer? I minded my own business and didn’t hurt anybody. I didn’t think I did or I just didn’t know better. I was very demanding of God and wanted my life fixed right then. Not even grateful for the grace he had shown me. Then, it was not enough. Today, I am amazed by what he has done and continues to do for me. I’m a late bloomer and I wish I had known then what I know now. I am saddened by the time I missed with him as my Savior. God is good and Almighty.
And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.”