Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Serving of Grace~

"That's what I need to do.  I know it is."

She places a plate of eggplant parmigiana on our table.  Then, turning to the tray, she picks up a plate of lemon rosemary chicken. 

"I need to get back to church."

As she positions the plate in front of my husband,
she looks at us with a look that pleads, "please don't judge me."

Making small talk while she delivered our meal,
our waitress had asked what my husband and I do for a living.

"My wife is in ministry.  She is a Children's Minister at a church here in town. She also leads out in Women's Ministry."

Upon hearing this, her eyes lit up and looked deep into the center of mine.

"Oh, that's nice.  That really is.  That's so neat that you do that."

Then, her eyes dimmed as she mentioned her own need to return to church.

"It's been hard.  Really hard.  I'm not going to lie."

She twists the towel in her hand.  I can tell her turmoil runs deep.

"I know it's not God's fault.  I know that.  It's just a lot of things have happened. You know how life goes.  And well, I just got discouraged, that's all.  Yeah, I'm just discouraged.  But, I know I need to go back.  I really do. I need to go back to church."

A thirsty customer, sitting in the booth behind us, begs for her attention.

"Enjoy your meal."

She reaches for the tray and heads to the next booth.

I reach out and take the hand of my husband, and he prays. 
A prayer for grace.
Grace which will flow from the throne room of Heaven and heal this wounded heart.

Before I have finished twirling my first taste of spaghetti, she is back.

"I''m sorry.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm not one to unload my problems on other people. But, it's just so unfair.  I gave him everything, you know.  I tried my best to make him happy.  I did.  He just took me for granted.  Finally, I knew what I had to do and I moved back here."

We nod, and listen, and silently pray.

"My mom tells me to just keep the faith.  That other women have gone through this, too.  That I'm not the only one.  She tells me to take care of me and let God take care of bringing a man into my life.  It just hurts, you know?"

She reaches for a napkin tucked deep in a pocket on her apron.  Her tears fall freely now, no longer hidden behind her smiling face and upbeat personality.

"I'm sorry.  I need to check on my other customers."

When she returns, my husband speaks the words her heart is longing to hear. 

Late night dinner
{Photo Credit}
"God loves you. 
He loves you more than you know.
He'll never take you for granted. 
He loves you,
not for what you do or don't do,
but just because He loves you.

It's not "a church" you need to get back to,- it's God. 

He understands your heart and your hurt.

He's still there, you know,
waiting for you with open arms."

A smile peeks out of tears, and a tiny sparkle shines from her eyes.

"Thank you. 
Thank you so much.
 I really appreciate those words.
 I do. 
They mean a lot to me. 
Thank you for listening. 
Thank you for caring."

"We'll pray for you.  And you pray, too, ok?"

She nods her head, wipes another tear and sets our bill on the table. Then, she turns around and begins to wipe off the table across the aisle. 

I reach in my wallet and take out my "business" card.
On the back, I write this simple truth:

God loves you.  Always and forever. ♥

As we walk to the exit, we spot her in a small alcove, leaned up against a counter, looking through her orders.

"For you. If ever you'd like to talk, or to stop by the church and visit."

She looks at the card, then turns it over
As she reads the words I have written there,
she stumbles heart first into God's grace. 

I know.

I see it in her eyes. 

She hugs me.  Then,  she hugs my husband.

She wipes away a another tear.
So do I.
And, so does my husband.

We all seem to know this isn't the end.  This is just the beginning.

For God's grace has no end.

And this precious heart,
has just found her way back home.~

Would you like Heartprints of God delivered to your email inbox each day?
Simply enter your email address here:

Delivered by FeedBurner


  1. That's beautiful Stacy...reaching out to a hurting soul with the grace and love of God. I pray that she does return to church and is embraced in love.

  2. Stacy I pray that this woman returns to the Heart of God.....thank you for sharing this simple yet profound testimony of just taking a few minutes in your own life to save another. Bless you as you continue doing God's work.

  3. Stacy,
    So beautiful. Ministry indeed. Everywhere we go. Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. Love this story, the way God intersects the hungry with a bit of hope. It's being the hands and feet of Jesus wherever we go. Pray that she finds true hope in Christ, healing for the hurt.

  5. all i have is tears. joyful tears for how God used you and how God has brought her back.

  6. What a sweet God we serve ... who love your waitress enough to meet her there over your spaghetti dinner.


Thank you for leaving a "heartprint" of your own.