Last weekend we took our household of seven out to a special family dinner at our local Japanese steakhouse. Our children loved watching the chef cook our meal in front of us. We giggled and clapped and we really enjoyed ourselves. It was a rare indulgence for us. At the end of our meal, the waitress said, “The gentleman who just left paid your entire bill. Have a great night.”
It was a huge blessing to us, it humbled us and it allowed us to teach our children what generosity looks like. Three days later I find myself still thinking about it. A man who did not know us, paid for our meal and, in doing so, reminded me that humanity is not so lost.
There have been many days recently that have left me disheartened. The political rhetoric, turned to people attacking one another, has left me burdened and wondering where the good is. When will we see that every man and every woman is created in the image of God and when we attack the person we attack a creation of the Most High? When the image of God attacks the image of God, no good can come from it. When will we see the truth in Proverbs 18:21 that life and death are in the power of the tongue (our fingers as we type our chosen words) and speaking death only kills? It has really left my soul in pain.
Then, a man I do not know, looked at my very young family and blessed us. My husband ran out to the parking lot and thanked him. “Why us?” My husband said. “Your children were so well behaved, your family so beautiful.” Even the stranger’s response was a blessing in and of itself – life giving. Trust me when I say that most people who see my family sit down next to them at a restaurant cringe. There are four that are 5 years of age and under and there is a big opportunity for meltdowns and whining and ruined atmosphere. Instead of cringing, he blessed us. What would happen if when we all wanted to cringe, we blessed instead?
This man’s behavior challenged us to live generously. All of us can do that. Even those of us with little money to give can live a life of generosity. In this same weekend, our 4-year-old was struggling with her bike as she headed up a hill and our 5-year-old son ran over to her, took her bike and pushed it up the hill for her. “My sweet gentleman!” she said. I think we can all be gentler, and in doing so, we can be life givers and kindness doers and, therefore, world changers.
~ Trisha Bowman
Christ Fellowship member