I dodged out of a stuffy, boring financial planning meeting to pick up the babysitters. When I came back, the financial planner and Tim were still at it. Come on now!! I was trying to catch Tim's eye and give him the "wrap it up, we're late" look. Careful to look like I had important business to tend to with the kids, I marched up stairs with laundry in hand. When I came downstairs, I had changed into a little dress and put on some lip gloss. I made the kids a quick dinner, vigorously shook the money mans hand as we showed him out, gave some parting instructions to the sitters, and WE WERE OFF... RUNNING TO THE CAR!
Midweek date, party of two. I had high expectations for our time together, JUST THE TWO OF US. So, as we walked in to the restaurant, I was excited for the chance to be together alone. We had a mediocre meal and chatted about high school experiences, nothing too crazy. As we were walking out of the place, we were trying to make the choice between going elsewhere for a drink or on to a movie. We both just kinda looked at each other, having a hard time deciding what to do next while the babysitter's time was winding down.
No sooner had we made it out the door when a lady approached us asking for some money. She was homeless, hungry and in need of whatever money we could give. I tensed up at this point, noticing that she smelled like booze and slurred a bit. "sorry, we don't carry cash," our usual, canned response. She pointed to my left-over container and said, "what's in there?" This was the moment our evening changed. We realized she truly was hungry. I immediately handed over my box and went back to get her a spoon. When I returned, she was in the midst of telling Tim that she sure would like a beer to wash it down with!! "we can't do that," I heard him say, "but we can surely take you to get a proper meal and a drink." Yes, I had just thought the same thing as I walked back to them.
So, our date night for two quickly grew. Sandy hopped in the front seat of "Blued-sie" the station wagon, and we went down the street to another restaurant. Sandy was astonished that we would buy her anything she wanted (except beer). She ordered a large clam strips, large onion rings, large coffee, and a bottle of water. She used our phone to call her family and tell them she was still alive. We prayed for Sandy to be protected, and she prayed for us "to be healed of any diseases we might have and to stay married." She still had a huge grin on her face as we hugged and parted ways.
I share this story because I am reminded of how much fun it is to serve others together. We both drove home laughing about how our night had changed. Hearing part of Sandy's story brought us together as we discussed the needs of the homeless in our community and how we could do more and be more willing to help. We will not remember our mediocre meal, but our time with Sandy will be a lasting memory.