Breakfast with Chris

I don’t know Chris.

Mark and I walked into Feed yesterday for a late Sunday morning breakfast, and Chris was the first person I noticed in the tiny little diner.  He sat alone, reading a book with an old classic binding.  He was very big and very alone.  Feed was packed full of hungry Sunday diners, and we had to wait a good ten minutes to be seated.  Ten minutes to gaze around the room at the chicken art on the walls and memorize the specials on the chalkboard. Shrimp and grits. Crab crepes. Apple pie pancakes.  Ten minutes of seeing what other folks were ordering and eating.  Feed is old fashioned, with long tables and benches against the wall.   We were faint with growling tummies when they finally called our name and pointed to our table and bench, against the wall.  Next to Chris.

Isn’t it usually awkward to be seated so close to a stranger when you’re going to have your breakfast?  Sometimes it turns out really pleasant though, and Chris was pleasant enough, smiling as Mark scooted all the way across the cushioned bench to sit next to him.  I sat down across the table from them.  “Hi, how are you doing?” Being polite is my usual way, trying to break the ice for all of us.  “I’m good,” he replied.  “Whatcha reading?” I asked him.  He showed me the cover of the old book, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and explained how he was enjoying the short stories as he had recently plunged headlong into The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet Nest and had plowed through it for six hours straight.  We chatted easily about books, and reading and my new Kindle for awhile and then I let him go back to his reading.  Mark and I studied the menu and talked about what we should order.

Chris wanted to talk to us more than he wanted to revisit Sherlock Holmes.  Pretty soon, we were discussing the Kindle and he mentioned that there are ways to borrow books for Kindle, and I was pretty interested in that.  And then somehow, we were talking about work and business and how to motivate employees, especially developers and how to get them to work quicker and more efficiently and how to get them to finish projects.  Mark had some really great ideas to share with Chris about those situations, but it was easy to see that this was a big challenge for Chris and his online business.  He was obviously frustrated with his programmers.

And then we took a tangent and he told us how his hot water heater had exploded during the recent Groundhog Day Blizzard, and he was currently living out of a hotel because his insurance company was not settling with him in a timely manner.  The neighbors below him on the second and first floor also had water damage but had already been compensated for their losses.  He was very frustrated with that situation, and WHO WOULDN’T BE?  Can you even imagine?  I felt really sorry for him at that point.

As I listened to this man talking about his frustrations and watching him eat his pulled pork hash skillet scramble, it became so obvious to me that he was from Canada.  His fun “oat in a boat” accent was a dead giveaway and I asked him where he was from.  “Nova Scotia,” was his answer and then we talked at great length about his homeland.  The conversation then moved to Canada’s oil reserves in Alberta and the current events leading to the rising cost of gas and so on and so forth.

By then Chris has finished eating his breakfast, and we were nearly done with ours as well.  He paid his bill and rose to leave with his Sherlock Holmes in hand.  We shook hands all around and wished him well for his day.  And that was that.

I do not believe in coincidences, accidents or mistakes in God’s sovereign plan for each of our days.  When I woke up yesterday morning and prepared to go into my day, He already had arranged for our breakfast and our breakfast mate.  So what was the point of having breakfast with Chris?  I just don’t know for sure.

Obviously he has need of intercessory prayer with his living situation and work frustrations.  And I’m glad to do that in obedience to the Lord’s command to pray for one another.  But was there something else I could take away from our breakfast?  Perhaps the biggest lesson is this:  there are lonely people around every corner.  People with incredible troubles.  People who live far from home and family.  People who have few friends to share a breakfast with.  People who have to read Sherlock Holmes alone at the diner.  Every single day there is somebody who needs companionship if we only open our eyes.

I promise there’s a blessing to anyone who spends time with the lonely and the alone.  God bless you today!  Love, Natalie

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jill
    Apr 19, 2011 @ 15:07:10

    Such a beautiful reminder and post. Thank you so much.

    Reply

  2. Jill
    Apr 19, 2011 @ 18:29:55

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog! I’m glad someone else had/has those questions too. I thought it was just me. Now I have another question for you…how do I become a follower on your blog?
    Jill

    Reply

    • mothergoosesmiles
      Apr 20, 2011 @ 13:28:10

      Hi Jill, Thanks for asking about how to follow my blog! Great question! So great that I had to change my theme so that I could get a subscription widget that worked. I guess it’s pretty obvious that I’m a new blogger — thanks for bearing along with me.

      Reply

  3. Dianna
    Apr 27, 2011 @ 22:14:51

    I, too, believe that there really aren’t any “chance” encounters! I’m sure you were a blessing to Chris, just listening to him talk about his problems. You may never know how much the conversation meant to him.

    Reply

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