It was a day for miracles today. 33 men, trapped 2000 feet underground for 70 days, rescued without a hitch! I kept checking in on the news, and heard some of the family members on the radio driving back from my morning clinic.
At the end of the work day, I was heading to my car when I had the urge to turn back and peek in the window of Denny’s. I decided that if I saw someone sitting alone at a table I would go in and ask to sit down with them.
The place seemed deserted and I checked the sign to see if they were even open. Yup, till 1 AM. Then I saw that there was one table occupied, with two African American women sitting by the window holding hands. Their eyes were downcast and they looked serious. And maybe sad. Something pulled me inside.
I stepped right past the “Please Wait To Be Seated” sign and walked toward the women. One of them pushed the shreds of her leftover pancakes into a box to take home. They both watched me suspiciously. “Excuse me. Hi. Can I talk to you for a minute?” “About what?” The woman glared at me and kind of rolled her eyes. I launched into a quick version of my story, thinking it might soften her to hear that my mama had died. It seemed to, maybe a little. I sat down at the next table and said I wanted to pass along a gift to them, reaching over to put the $100 bill on the table.
“Thank you, Jesus! Thank you!”, cried the woman with the pancakes. “Thank you, Mother and Father. Thank you for this!” They each grabbed one of my hands and started to cry. Then they told me their story.
One of the women (I’ll call her “Gloria” but it’s not her real name) got hurt at work, needed surgery, and was going to be off the job for months. She had been sitting in Denny’s for three hours, making phone calls to her insurance company and trying to figure out how she was going to pay her bills. She was going through a real bad time. The other woman (“Mary”) knew Gloria a little from way back and saw her sitting there. She felt like Gloria needed someone to pray for her, so she went in and sat down. She ordered pancakes. They held hands and prayed that Gloria would have her money worries lifted.
“Were you in here? You was watching us?”, asked Mary. I told her no, I was walking by and felt pulled to come in. “Oh, my God!” She said. “Thank you, Jesus!”
Gloria was pretty quiet this whole time but she was squeezing my hand real hard. She apologized for “coming on strong” at first. “I shouldn’t have been like that”, she told me. “I’ve said it a million times: ‘Be careful because you may be entertaining angels unaware.’ That’s from the scripture.” I asked her what that meant to her and she said you never know what gifts or burdens another person is carrying.
Mary was shy but had a lot to say. She wanted me to know that her prayers have worked miracles before. “Psalm 91 says, ‘I will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.’ That’s a beautiful one. I love that whole scripture.” She said she had been on her knees praying for the last two weeks. “I’ve prayed to God to heal this recession! Not just for me, for everybody. And to heal pain. And blindness. And don’t let The Man take my social security! Don’t let the rich be greedy!” “Mmm hmm”, said Gloria.
We talked for a long time and it was hard to say goodbye. Gloria told me she loved me. “You are a blessing. Thank you”, she said. They both gave me a big hug.
I can’t explain what pulled me into Denny’s. I don’t really believe in God. But I do believe in angels, and I am so thankful for the two I met today.