Something Told Me Not to Take a Lunch
I bring my lunch to work at the hair school almost every day because Dave Ramsey. Also, I never have cash. None of my co-workers like to eat too early so I usually schedule myself in the 11:30 slot. On the one day I get an hour, I try to meet my amazing wife. I can never get enough of seeing her face.
Every other day it’s just too hard to leave the building, eat and feel like I get a restful break before getting back to work. Especially on Saturdays. Most of the time we are lucky to leave the clinic floor to scarf something down and get back to our projects. During lunch we worry that we probably shouldn’t have left.
This Saturday was different.
As I was getting ready for work, I stared at my lunch bag and something told me not to make a lunch. It was strange, but a very clear urge not to take it.
Randomly having ten dollars in my wallet, I decided that I could probably just figure something out.
As the day progressed, I found myself heavily engaged in several projects that I didn’t feel comfortable leaving. My co-workers started the lunch rotation and before I knew it, it was after 1:00 p.m.
Finally feeling like I could get away for a minute, I clocked out for lunch and went out the back door to the BBQ restaurant located adjacent to our building. While walking the few steps it took to get to the restaurant, two employees were standing outside on a break. One of them noticed me.
She shouted in excitement, “Hey, do you remember me?” Being terrible at names, I felt embarrassed; however, she looked familiar so I said yes. She mentioned that a few years ago, a particular student worked on her hair at the school. She also stated that she read the article about me in the Omaha World Herald. To this day, I am blown away by how many people have seen that article and I shared that with her.
I decided to eat in the restaurant instead of taking my food back with me so I could disconnect for a little bit. The woman from outside came over and sat across from me in my booth. She said, “I have to tell you something. Your story resonated with me and I felt like it was a God thing. When I read your article, I was in jail.”
Out of Control
Her story unraveled in a tale of alcohol, attempted sobriety and the struggle that went along with it. For a period of time, she remained clean. Feeling like she could handle a night out, she decided to go for it. Besides, she deserved it for doing so well.
The next morning, she woke up in a jail cell. Having no recollection of the previous night’s events, she thought she was probably picked up for disorderly conduct. She was shocked to find out that there were several charges against her, including assaulting an officer. It was at this low point, she decided something needed to change.
Feeling pretty low about herself and her situation, she found the OWH article about my story. She remembered me from the hair school and said that I was nice to her. After reading what I had done and comparing it to where I am now, she gained an immense sense of hope. It was because someone she actually met in person, went through a similar situation and made it out. My story gave her the feeling that she was not alone and that she could turn her life around.
Currently, she resides at Santa Monica House, which is a half-way house for women and has been sober for about a year.
She asked me to remind her what the title of my book was because, she wanted to read it. I told her the title, thanked her for sharing her story with me and she went back to work.
After finishing my meal, I ran back to work to grab a copy of Dishonor, signed it and then ran back to the restaurant and gave it to her.
She was very grateful and thanked me several times.
If I brought my lunch, went to lunch during my normal time slot, or went somewhere else this encounter would not have happened. Something told me, not to take my lunch that day.
I tell you this story for a couple reasons.
First, I can’t take any credit for what transpired. I fully believe that God orchestrated this event. I’m amazed by these “random” encounters and how moments in time seem to intersect.
Even when I feel like things are slowing down with the book and this ministry, something like this happens and I’m reminded that He is at work all the time. You never know how, when or what will happen but, He can use any moment in time to draw someone closer to Himself.
I know that this happened not just for the woman’s sake, but for mine as well.
Second, I want to say thank you everyone who has donated to this ministry. Because of you, I am able to send or give copies of Dishonor to inmates, people in recovery and anyone needing to be released from the guilt and shame of their past.
I don’t always make it public when I give away copies to people, but sometimes I just need to share these truly awesome events when God clearly shows up.