God Bless You
I have heard the symbol of the Christian Fish, used today, had an important purpose in days gone by. It is said that in the first centuries after Christ, when Christians were threatened by Romans, they used the symbol to distinguish friends from foes. When Christians met a stranger on the road, a Christian could draw one arc of the fish in the dirt. If the stranger drew the other arc, completing the fish, they knew they were in safe company. We don’t have many dirt roads today that we are walking down, so how do we distinguish friends from foes in modern times?
When doing hair, a few simple words can make all the difference in the conversation. I usually know within a very short period of time if the person I am working on is a Christian by how they respond to things I say. It happened again the other night, but not when working behind the chair. Jim and I were out for dinner, and we had a young man waiting on us. We conversed with him a bit—enough to know that he had worked quite a few double shifts in a row. He was tired, but he still did an excellent job. He reminded me of how exhausted I get at the end of many hours on my feet cutting hair. We didn’t know if Nick was a Christian, but we could see he was a hard worker. Whether a Christian or not, we wanted our waiter to know we were friend, not foe, as we smiled and said thank you for his service.
As the evening finished up, we received our bill, and got to talk a bit to Nick about his life. As he shared some of what he was working on outside of the restaurant, I simply said, “God bless you.” He responded immediately in the positive, letting us know that God was a very important part of all he did. Being not only a waiter, but also in business for himself, all the days he did have off, he used to build his business. Lazy, he was not! It seemed we had drawn an “arc” in the dirt, and our waiter drew the other half of the “arc” through our conversation. As God will make a way, when Nick looked around thinking our conversation needed to be cut short, all his tables were suddenly empty. He had no one left to tend to, except us. Nick continued telling us about his new business, wondering if he was heading in the right direction. From everything he told us, it seemed he was, and we told him so. He said he prays for just such encouragement when he starts to waver. Maybe we were there for more than dinner?
Searching And Noticing the Divine in today’s world may one day include drawing an arc in the dirt again. When we search for a friend we can trust—whether that be at work, while shopping, in a restaurant, etc…just a few key words might be that “arc.” A simple, “God Bless you,” may give us away as being of like hearts for Jesus. After celebrating our 40th wedding Anniversary with a delicious dinner, we ended our night not only full and satisfied from the food, we left totally full and satisfied with having met such an inspiring young man whose desire is to be in the will of God. May God bless you, Nick.
Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!”
Matthew 4:19 (NLT)