Last night, Mrs. Underdog and I went on a date. To the Cheesecake Factory no less. And before I get to my point , let me say that although we did not get any cheesecake, we did try the corn fritters. It was a good trade, because I didn't sugar crash like a human Hindenburg this morning.
Mrs. Underdog and I did something last night that we have never done before. We used the routine prayer before our meal for something more than just thanking God for the food. Let me explain.
Our waiter introduced himself as Jason. Jason was a twenty something, goateed, waiter guy. He talked fast and asked us if we wanted apple martinis when he took our drink order. We asked for water (we're on a budget, sigh) and Jason sounded disappointed. Jason seemed pretty melancholy.
We order our food (salad + pizza + fritters = yeah for tummies) and waited for the first dish to arrive. Now our family always prays before meals. Always. And I make the kids avoid the cliches that can make the prayer nearly meaningless. Last night was different. As Jason set our salads on the table, I said, "Jason, we are Christians and we are about to thank God for this food. Is there anything we could pray for you?"
The transformation in Jason with the introduction of this simple question was amazing. We were no longer impersonal, the question changed the nature of our relationship.
Jason lit up like the 4th of July. "You know, " he said, "I just moved to town a few months ago and everything is so much more expensive here. Business here at the restaurant has been down as mall traffic slows and I am having trouble making ends meet. People are competing for fewer shifts. My rent is more expensive, so is gas. Could you pray that I would make enough money to get by?"
So Mrs. Underdog and I did just that. We prayed that God would provide for Jason and that God would show Himself to Jason. We left a great tip and a tract that contained the gospel in simple terms.
I am not writing about this event to brag about me. To the contrary, this exercise was something that I heard from someone else. I am just imitating. I am writing this to encourage you to try it. It is harmless and simply adds an evangelism opportunity to the mealtime prayers you probably do anyway.
Oh yeah, and just before I asked Jason, I was completely terrified. So have courage.
Soli Deo Gloria.