The third young lady, I met in the bathroom of a popular “down-home-food” restaurant. I had been waiting a year to return and enjoy their buffet of foods I should eat only once a year. We were to have eaten there on Friday; but our schedule prevented it, so we decided to do so before the Saturday concert. Notably if we had gone Friday, I may never have met her.
After enjoying the buffet, we prepared to leave for the concert. In the parking lot, I told my friends I wanted to go to the ladies room to take care of an annoying problem.
While at the sink, I noticed a young lady standing next to me leaning forward with hands on the counter. Not wanting to interfere but seeing she seemed in distress, I asked if she was okay. She shook her head no. Then I saw she was wearing a headscarf as I had worn when I was going through chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. I also noticed her pink survivor t-shirt. Sharing she was a breast cancer survivor, she added cancer had returned and she had undergone a chemo treatment on Monday. Then tears came. I cannot remember asking if she minded my praying with her; I felt assured I could put my arm around her shoulder and pray, which I did though normally I would not do that. After prayer, she cried quietly on my shoulder. There were no words needed at that moment. By the time I felt it appropriate to speak, several ladies had gathered and formed a kind of quiet and respectful interracial support system. A lovely lady who had been standing behind me introduced herself as a pastor. Feeling confident she too was sent for that moment, I realized my task was completed and was comfortable yielding to Paul’s affirmation, “One plants, another waters, but God gives the increase.”
The bathroom of a restaurant? Yes. God’s ways are not our ways, and His timing can seem odd, yet He allowed this experience to remind me be prepared to be tasked by Him at any moment. We may not always see it coming. My perceived problem became an instrument to bring me to that bathroom at that time. He also allowed us to see His lovingkindness through the faces of others. The young lady was in the bathroom alone, needing support; and God lovingly sent her a “community” of caring ladies who may still be praying for her as I am. The extraordinary grace and beauty she exuded, though in pain, drew others to her. Her light encouraged us to shine.
Affirmation: We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” Romans: 15:1