Eating Words

I seem to eat my way through the workweek—breakfast here, luncheons there, dinner somewhere else. When I am on my own for lunch, I look for local or new places to try. A few months ago, I decided to get a hamburger at a highly rated, locally owned diner I had never been to before. It was after 2:30 so there were only a couple of other people there. This is one of those places where you order your meal from the counter, then find a seat and wait to be served. The dining area is laid out in a U-shape. I seated myself when the waitress appeared and asked me to move to the other area for she had just cleaned this section and was closing it off for the day. I moved and she hooked a chain across the entrance with a metal sign that read “No Trespassing.”

Soon my meal came and I noticed that I was about the only customer. An older gentleman and his wife came in and placed their order. They looked like any well dressed senior adult couple you might see at church. He then proceeded to unhook the chain and find a table in the closed section. The waitress asked him to move, but he pretended he did not know she was there. She asked him again. This time he forcefully said, “No. I will not move. This is where I will eat.” His wife said nothing. The waitress tried one more time. He was a tall man, probably in his eighties. He stood up and proceeded to angrily call the waitress names and loudly insult her. She tried to hold her own and continued to say, “Excuse me?” She turned and walked away. His wife said nothing. A few minutes later she brought their lunches and then walked out of the restaurant. I made a mental note: Never cuss out a waitress, especially before you get your food.

A few minutes later the couple got up, replaced the chain and moved to a different table. Maybe his wife finally said something. That whole scene was so unnecessary. Maybe he was suffering from some medical problem. Having a bad day or being inconvenienced is no excuse to insult others. Abusive language and behavior are not becoming on anyone, no matter how old or well dressed they may be.

Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Speak kindly to others. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.

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