I woke up this morning around 1 AM. Laura wasn’t feeling well, Cayden thought it was time to wake up, and I was anxious for an MRI on my knee in just a few hours. Needless to say, I couldn’t go back to sleep.
Since Laura had already agreed to take Cayden to daycare because of my early appointment, I decided to collect my books from my office and study at Waffle House for a few hours.
Due to labor shortages, Albertville’s Waffle House was closed, so I took the twelve-minute drive to its Guntersville counterpart.
With backpack in tow, I entered her kingdom. I was greeted with laughter, conversation, and the sounds of a bustling kitchen. As I surveyed the scene, though, I realized that there was only one worker: a nice lady with grease stains on her Waffle House visor that had a ponytail sticking through the top.
She was scrambling eggs, serving coffees, telling jokes, and keeping up with one man’s story all at once, all while taking my order as well! Nothing could throw her off her game.
I first protested her offer to cook breakfast, saying that I was fine with coffee and a water, but she responded that she didn’t have the heart to turn me away, so I opted for scrambled eggs and toast.
As the hour progressed, I learned that her cook walked out on her at nine o’clock the night before, and she had been running the ship all by herself for over seven hours. While she is typically a server, she stepped up to the plate literally!
While she was well within her right to leave at nine (I certainly wouldn’t blame her), she insisted that she “didn’t have the heart” to turn someone away.
Forgetting the political, moral, and social debate that surrounds the labor shortage now and all that goes with it, I hope you can appreciate her attitude and good spirit.
Even as I type this blog post, she continues to refill my coffee cup as she serves the few people who come in. Granted, she has had to turn away larger parties with complicated orders, but that was more out of consideration for them than because of a lack of work ethic on her part (remember, she isn’t the cook!).
So, what did she mean when she talked about her heart? She was talking about the heart of the servant, something that Paul said should be the characteristic of every Christian. Read this hymn preserved for us by Paul:
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, as He already existed in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied Himself by taking the form of a bond-servant and being born in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death: death on a cross. For this reason also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.Philippians 2:5–11
Let us all persevere to serve one another, our neighbors, and even our enemies because we “don’t have the heart” to do anything differently, just like Jennifer.