Last week I had a training session in Spanish Fort, Alabama. Enroute from Southern Mississippi I decided to stop off for breakfast and got the urge for a waffle, so I drove past where I was headed and went to a Waffle House in Daphne. Of course I had a waffle, you don't go to a barbecue joint for a salad (unless it's a bbq salad, yeah we make those) and you don't go to a restaurant with waffle in the name to order a hamburger. Another customer came in complaining about the cold. Another WH standard. I talked with her a bit, then she asked me if I was a minister.
The question caught me off guard, as I like to hope I make a good impression with my Christianity without being a blatant Bible-thumper, but I was fairly sure that wasn't what she was talking about. She asked because she mentioned most people aren't very friendly anymore--except ministers. I laughed and blamed growing up so far into the South you couldn't go further South without getting your feet wet. She also laughed when my waffle arrived and I told her I was a Baptist but say Catholic prayers over my food because they're shorter. After that I put the brief conversation out of my mind until later in the day.
A friend of mine (who will remain nameless as he may or may not read my blog) has been going through an estrangement with his wife. Early on he told me about it and I told him that if he ever wanted to talk about it that he could bring it up. I had lots to say, but I would only offer it if he wanted to broach the subject. Earlier in the week he went to talk with his pastor.
Now, he isn't a very regular church attendee. In fact, I'm not real sure when he last went, but the preacher was still more than willing and happy to talk with him. I am chomping at the bit to talk with him about it, but didn't because of my previous statement. On the same day I had a waffle for breakfast, he commented that of the only 4 people who knew he went I was the only one who had not asked how it went. We didn't go in depth into the talk, though we will later, but we did talk about the fact that I offered to only go into his situation when he wants to but others don't.
Without deliberately trying, I had 2 conversations that reminded me of my latent rather than blatant form of ministering. It was an odd juxtaposition because at the start of the day I heard a radio ad discussing how we need to plant seeds and not worry about watering them. Either they'll take root or they won't. This on top of a conversation the night before with a friend on pretty much the same thing. What we do with our gifts (be they money, talents, or talk) are between us and God, what the person we share them with does with it is between them and God. And that talk, the one that started it all off the night before was with a friend that works for...Waffle House.