A few minutes ago I sat down on the couch to write this blog, and next thing I know crazy cat from my last blog entry snuggled up next to me. It’s kind of cute. But then I remember all the horror I’ve lived through (the hair biting, the leg scratching, the full frontal attacks, the jumping into the toilet when I’m trying to pee), and now I’m convinced he’s snuggling next to me so he can surprise attack me. Don’t worry, I’m ready. I have a water-bottle-machine-gun at hand.
Yesterday I went to Applebees with some friends. When we were ordering boneless wings our waitress got frustrated with us because there was some confusion about what kind of wings we wanted, or something. She was a cute girl around my age, maybe a few years younger, and she wasn’t very nice. After she walked away I made one of those annoying mean girl faces and said she was a bad waitress. Then I reminded myself that I don’t know what her life is like, and maybe she was just having a bad day. Maybe.
When she came back to our table she started chatting with us for a bit, and I figured she was trying to make up for being snobby so she could get a decent tip. But then I liked her. She wants to be a big animal veterinarian, which is pretty cool. And then she mentioned that she wasn’t having a good day at all, and she was really tired and they kept scheduling her to close, and she was closing that night. After she walked away I decided that I would ask if I could pray for her by the end of our meal.
Before the World Race ended I made a list of goals concerning how I want to live my life back in the States, and one of them was to pray for strangers – often and much. I haven’t done it since coming home (…six weeks ago). It’s just so normal and easy in Africa to pray for strangers – they welcome it (or at least pretend to). But in America it’s weird. Just weird.
I’ve heard stories of people praying for their servers, and I decided this was my time. When I told my friends about my plan, one of them said, “Can’t you just pray for her in your head?” Like I said, it’s weird.
I waited until the last possible moment – the moment when it would be least awkward (meaning we had already paid and she wouldn’t need to come back to our table for anything) – and then I said, “Um, I know this may sound weird, but can I pray for you?” And then I held my breath.
“Yeah, sure. That’d be nice.” she said. I tried to refrain from doing a little dance in my booth, and then I asked if there was anything else she needed prayer for besides the whole not -having-a-great-day-thing. “Yeah, actually. My sister is in Iraq.” Wow, I said. “And I’m taking care of her six-year-old son.” Like I said, this girl looks a few years younger than me. And I can’t even imagine being a mom right now. Not at all.
So, right there in the middle of Applebees, we all held hands and I prayed for Nancy in the name of Jesus. Before she left she said that she was really encouraged. Little did she know how encouraged I was – this was such a good start to my goal of praying for strangers. I know that they won’t always say yes, but I think it was pretty nice of God to allow my first stranger to say yes, and for it to really not have been that weird after all.
Remember Gilmore Girls guy? You know, the guy who was an extra on Gilmore Girls? Well last night we went to his house-warming party. It was one of the best nights I’ve had in a long, long time. I went with a few friends, but when I walked into the crowded house I didn’t know anyone, and that lonely feeling of being invisible crept up on me. I panicked and started hugging people, so it would look like I knew someone. Thankfully the people hugged me back, and then I felt cool.
The night only got better from there. I found out that Gilmore Girl Guy’s roommate was an extra in a bunch of stuff as well – most notably Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. That was definitely a highlight of the night, but there was also a water balloon toss and pinata and sidewalk chalk.
And then, because pretty much everyone in Nashville is a musician, we had a little jamming session. This was later in the evening (or should I say early in the morning?) when there was only a handful of us left. We sat on the couches (remember how I love couches?) and someone played the guitar and someone else played the piano and we would sing covers or make up our own songs.
At one point this guy played on the keyboard/sang a song he had written – and while he performed I had to tell myself “don’t fall in love with him don’t fall in love with him don’t fall in love with him.” He was so talented, and I have such a weakness for that. It’s probably the same reason why girls fall in love with rock-stars. Feel free to call me Penny Lane from now on.
The evening was so great because I laughed a lot (like, a lot a lot), I made new friends, I was surrounded by old friends, and there was an overall sweet spirit to the night. Most of the people at the party were Christian (if not everyone – I don’t know), and it made the mood so light and full of life. Also, I was reminded that I am still young and I can still party. Praise the LAWRD!