The Race

Give them a flavorful breakfast.

At our family Easter lunch, one of our relatives asked why anyone would go to a Waffle House – with the words, “They don’t even have to be clean and people still go there.”

Carey and I happen to like Waffle House (see “Juking”) We went to another Waffle House in the Atlanta area the week after Easter and had an amazing time:

There was an old white man at the counter. He was 76 years old – we know because he was telling everyone in the place how old he is. He was wearing an Easter sport coat – plaid with many, many bright colors.

He stood and went to the jukebox, saying, “My woman died on me. Now I don’t know what socks to wear.”

A waitress saw where he was heading and said, “Play some Kirk Franklin. I need me some Jesus.”

The old man continued to the jukebox. I don’t know if he heard the waitress, but he acted as if he didn’t as he continued, “Want to know her name? It is Sunshine. And this is her song.”

Carey quietly asked, “Lord, are we going to get sad now?”

Then the jukebox played “Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone. It’s not warm when she’s away. Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone. And she’s always gone too long. Anytime she goes away.”

I looked outside just as an old car pulled in the parking place by my window. The car had another old white man with an old black man sitting beside him. They came in the Waffle House laughing and talking as if they had been best friends all their lives.

I thought of the 1963 Martin Luther King “I have a dream” speech and the words: “I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.” And here they were at a table in the Waffle House.

I thanked God for showing me these two men less than two hours after I saw the North Charleston police shooting on TV for the first time.

Finally, I saw a young white man reading his Bible by the cash register. When I went to pay for breakfast, Carey started a conversation with the young man. “I see you are reading the book of Acts. Are you looking for a miracle today?”

“Ma’am, I’ve seen more miracles here lately than I can count. And they are all right here.” He fanned through a spiral-bound notebook, filled with impeccably penned notes in black, blue, red, and green.

There is encouragement in every day and God is everywhere. Dirty or clean, perhaps there is nowhere with more flavor than Waffle House.

You can’t remove all the need in the world today but there are lots of ways you can help. Ask God where He wants to take you to be encouraged and encouraging today.


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