Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Waitress


See that girl right there? The one that just flew by like she was headed to a fire, the one with blond hair and braids wrapped like a gold crown – she’s our waitress.

Sixteen of us gathered for two birthday parties, here in this back room. Our tables are placed in the shape of a horseshoe. Everyone is seated around the outside edge, so we can see each other and talk. But right now I’m just watching. Watching them talk, but mostly watching the waitress.

She was doing fine, working the room from one side to the other, taking orders. She brought the drinks and didn’t spill a drop. Only had to ask once or twice what went where, I thought that was pretty good. Then came the salads, she did that well, too. Only forgot dressing on mine. I acted like I didn’t notice.

And then someone wanted more bread. And another wanted more of whatever it was they were drinking. And all of a sudden everyone was talking at once, asking for this and that. I felt a twinge, swallowed hard and bit my lip. The waitress nodded her golden crown and hurried out the door. How did she hear all that?

When she returned I could tell something was wrong. Her face was a shade closer to the color of her pink shoestrings and she bit her bottom lip. I heard her say, “I’m sorry but we’re out of the Red Snapper can I get you something else?” The Snapper man discussed different options, decided on the Salmon and out the door she flew.

When the food arrived some were disturbed because they didn’t get exactly what they ordered. And ever so politely they voiced their concern. I felt another pang and it wasn’t from hunger. After all the meals were corrected, delivered and delicious, two steak dinners remained on the delivery tray – they had no home.

Our waitress – her forehead shines, and a bead escapes like a jewel from her golden crown. She stands, and for the first time takes a deep breath and exhales slow as she stares at the steak dinners on the tray.

I’m watching her stare at the tray. And her forehead isn’t the only thing that shines. I see another bead as it escapes from the corner of her eye…and then I feel one escape from mine.

I know the rule. If she orders wrong, she pays for the meal. But it’s only her second day; surely they wouldn’t. But, just in case, I reach in my pocket and head her way. With no one looking I slip her a tip much too large. I figure it’ll calm her nerves. And then I offer to pay for the extra dinners so they won’t go to waste.

I return to my seat, and watch the waitress smile through tears.

Why would I do that? You may ask.

Because all I can see is a five year old girl serving me tea from a plastic teapot. I sit on a chair made for Teddy, but that’s O.K. because he’s taking a nap. She pours. First mine then hers. I start to sip, “Not yet Daddy.” And she rushes like the wind over to her bed and pulls out a pan of brownies, from her invisible oven. “Mmmm don’t they smell good Daddy?” Her nose wafts over the imaginary pan.

“Yes, I’ve never smelled anything quite like it. I reach for a brownie and she slaps my hand. “Not yet, they have to cool.”

“Uh oh, whose gonna clean up that mess?” I ask.

“What mess?” She puzzles.

I point at the floor, “The one you made when you slapped my hand. You let go of the pan and dropped the brownies.”

She giggles, “Oh yeah” drawing out the last word so it sounds like a distant siren, “oh yeaaaaeeeehhhh.”

I smile and take a sip of tea (imaginary tea). “Whoa, that’s hot” I say, waving my hand in front of my open mouth.

She giggles “I love you” and puts her hand on my shoulder, “do you want some water Daddy?”

“Why yes, thank you ma’am” I reply…

And there she stands – all grown up in her waitress attire, white shirt, black pants and black tie.

She giggles “I love you” and puts her hand on my shoulder, “do you want some water Daddy?”

“Why yes, thank you ma’am” I reply.

All grown up just like that.


Oh what love what wondrous love The Father has for His child. And oh how He watches and oh how He sees. He looks beyond the fault and finds the need.

His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.



Glynn said...

That waitress got to meet Jesus with skin on.

Doug Spurling said...

He put skin so we could put on Him. Rom. 13:14

S. Etole said...

This brings tears to my eyes ... what love this is!

Doug Spurling said...

Sharon, Yes, amazing love...your tears show a pure loving heart. Thank you.

Jennifer @ said...

What Glynn said. My thoughts precisely. Thank you for doing what you did. Beautiful.

Doug Spurling said...

Thanks Jennifer, I like that you said "doing what you did." And isnt'that Love. A verb?

jude said...

Doug, I love your blog. It's a great statement that real men "do feel." Compassion is a Christ-like trait. I love when folks show that.

Doug Spurling said...

Hi Aunt Judy, I appreciate you and your wonderful writing. Congrats again with you new novel.Thanks for stopping by - Love you.

caryjo said...

What you offered to do is something that my husband would. Maybe not the exact situation, but always has his heart on the struggles people are having and wanting to step in, quietly... VERY quietly ... and helping them step up another level. Nice guy(s).

Doug Spurling said...

Caryjo, thank you for your kind works. Quietly is His way, and to His glory. No need to toot horns when listening to His whisper. God bless you & your husband.