Did I Smile?

“Three things will last forever – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love.“ 1 Corinthians 13:13

An afternoon out of state, alone, with no agenda. What? When does that ever happen? What to do? That’s easy: Heavenly Dad/daughter date! Computer-check. Phone-check. Tablet and pen-check. Earphones-check. Thermal mug-check. Snacks-check, check.

Rrrrrrrrrrr, rrrrrrrrrrrr, the sound of chairs being pushed or pulled echo across the coffee shop. The smell of a fresh brew wafts as I scan for electrical outlets, but come up empty. How can that be? I order my coffee then make a lap. One outlet for 24+ tables! HOW does that work? The tables on either side of the precious outlet were occupied but only one plug was in use. My heart raced as I finagled a plan to snag the last treasured source of available power.

Sweet! The table directly across the isle way was available. What to do, what to do?!? I plug in and place a chair over the tripping hazard. Instead of the expected reprimand, a smile and a “good idea” are dispatched by the possible outlet occupants. Whew!

By the time I transferred my steaming deliciousness to my thermal mug and unpacked my gear, one of the tables became available. “YES!” The other occupant smiled as I made the tedious transfer, for the sake of safety .

Chris Tomlin serenades as I open my Bible app. Suddenly, I realize I’m missing the moment. There will never be a moment in time where the exact line of anticipating customers will be shared. I look at the young couple, his over-sized baseball shirt and she with the uncombed bleached then dyed neon red hair cascading down to the middle of her back. They stand next to the forty something couple. She’s scratching an inch through the precision cut snag in her jeans as her salt and pepper hubby, with the casual stone washed jeans, leans in to hear her low tone. Behind is a stroller and dad with two teenage daughters, both on their cell phones. I glance back at my apparatus. The line continues to fluctuate. A three-some of ladies, a single gentleman, a mom with a preschooler, one elementary and a middle schooler chatter with the grand and great-grandmother.

Next the tall teen with the double french braids, plaid shirt and her younger sis, in the fall rain jacket, speak without making eye contact. Behind, the chic twenty something in her leggings, ankle boots and large plaid print mid-thigh winter coat and sunglasses atop her heard speaks up to her other half. He is sporting a ball cap, fitted fitness jacket, jeans and brown leather loafers.

The Harley dad with the ponytail and 4 year old walk up to the counter with the group of three, one gentleman and two ladies. They ditch him quickly to order so they can munch on their snacks, already in hand. I smile wondering what their conversations consist of. The restaurant fills up, then empties out. People are coming and going. They are looking but not seeing each other. Time to write.

I prepare my heart. Chris Tomlin’s Sovereign, LIVE from Red Rock is typed into my search and the tears well with,”We lift the cross. That’s the whole reason we are hear tonight. We all come with different stories. Some come on the best of days, some of us come in on the hardest of days…” The disappearing crowd resonates in my mind.

This could have been one of the hardest of days for one or more of the crowd. Was it someone with whom I made eye contact? Did I give them a smile? My mind processes the gift of this afternoon.

Many times I was the one in the line on “hardest of days,” the coffee to take my mind off the loosing battle of tears from grief. It was a smile from a stranger that challenged me to dig and find a smile to return the favor. It was a precious gift that cost nothing. Tears well, as they often do, when Heavenly Dad graciously reminds me of our journey.

“Dad?”

I Corinthians 13:8 ” Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.” Peel away all of the layers of what the world, scholars, even what some Biblical scholars say that have head knowledge but lack heart knowledge and the only “thing” left is…love: the smile, touch on the hand or shoulder, generous but secret gift, the call, email, or letter, the time given… . That’s all that’s left. That’s enough. We all have it to give and Heavenly Dad replenishes our reservoir moment by moment, if we ask and allow. What I receive I am challenged to give.

My 6 hours alone with Heavenly Dad went by so fast and not a moment was wasted. He reminded me of what was, what is and what could be.

Until next time dearest of friends: Blessings!

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