Friday, February 17, 2017

The IHOP Guy

We often have breakfast at a particular IHOP when we travel.  We get there enough, we have gotten to know one of the servers and are often greeted in such a way as to make us feel like one of the locals.  He is a real go-getter.  He hustles.  He is always attentive to those at his table.  The other day I saw him just standing at the counter looking out the window.  And, then he left quickly going outside.  I saw him standing at the door holding it open with his back while he looked across the parking lot at a woman who was slowly pushing her husband in a wheelchair.  He stood there, holding the door for them until they entered and then it was back to work. 
His was simply an act of kindness.  An act of compassion. They did not go to his tables so it was not something done to get a big tip.  It seemed more like he saw someone who needed some help and he allowed himself to be separated from what kept him busy long enough to respond.  We are often tempted to think that there is nothing we can do to make a difference in the lives of those around us.  It is simply not true.  Each one of us is give opportunities each day by God to make a difference for someone.  We just get too busy to see.
The couple who entered IHOP that cool morning surely felt special.  An act of kindness gave them reason to smile and surely for a moment that woman's load seemed lighter to push. Changing the hard circumstance of another person's life we may not be able to do, but we can be seen as one of those who cares enough to reach out with kindness.  When we pray today, it might be a good thing to ask God to bring into our path those whom we are equipped to help.  If we do, we might be surprised.

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