My family and I were grateful to be able to drive up to Michigan for the holydays. I’m always grateful to our church community for allowing me the privilege to go on vacation.
The drive up was quick! We went from Round Rock to Grand Rapids on Christmas Day (1357 miles!) in just 18hrs & 45mins! We really had a great time being with family and friends. It was a whirlwind of activities but at some point it was time to head back home.
But the way home from a vacation always feels 3x longer than the way out.
On the way back down, we stopped for the night at hotel in Little Rock, AR. With 5 young kids, we have to be careful about the kind of hotels we stay in. My wife and I try to find one with suites—with a separate bedroom and, hopefully, a warm breakfast. So, after a nice night of rest, we went down for the morning breakfast buffet.
You do the math: 5 kids and two adults plus a seemingly endless buffet of breakfast treats; omelettes, scrambled eggs, waffle, muffins, yogurt, cereal, fruit, 3 kinds of juice and more… that’s going to equal a lot of plates!
As we ate through our breakfast, of course, there are items that looked good to a kid’s hungry eyes but in reality weren’t satisfying. And other foods, that once tasted, called for a return to the buffet for a second helping! One of the things we’re most thankful for when we go out to eat is not having to clear and clean all the dishes! Thankfully, on this morning there was a server who was going around bussing tables and clearing plates.
“Irving” approaches our table asking what he can take for us. I know his name because he was wearing a name tag. I thank him for taking care of us, and then introduce myself while he’s collecting plates. “Hi Irving, I’m Simon. This is my wife Alicia.” She greets him and he seems thankful for the introduction. Then the kids come back to the table from exploring the hotel’s ground floor, so I introduced “Mr. Irving” to the kids and have them greet him back and thank him for taking care of us today. And they know how much work it is clearing the table for us, so they were genuinely grateful, “Thank you, Mr. Irving for taking care of us!”
After chatting with him some more and, because people were so kind to us on our trip, I was able to extend a nice gratuity towards him, Irving says, “I don’t know what to say right now… I’m at a loss for words.”
“Why,” I ask.
“…because, no one ever talks to me,” he says.
We talked a little more about recognizing people as people and more importantly, that on the days when he’s feeling ignored that he would know that the Lord is with him… always.
This seems pretty simple but it’s not. At Restoration, we desire to “Love Different.” This begins with recognizing that everyone is a son and daughter of God, created to enjoy life-giving relationship, but—because of sin—we don’t experience it often. But, it is the great gift of God’s grace in Christ that we can have a restored pharmacy viagra pfizer relationship with God as our Father and be able to—empowered by the Holy Spirit—be able to offer restoration love to others… In Jesus’ name.
In John 4, Jesus came to rest at well and was thirsty. A woman came to the well and he presumed her to be able to serve him with a drink. Despite cultural differences and social barriers, Jesus took the occasion to extend to her the gift of new life.