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Who says there’s no such thing as a free lunch?

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No, really. Who says so?

I may have just discovered evidence to the contrary.

Here’s how it came about:

On Friday, I went to the women’s group that I attend each week, and listened to one of the ladies tell her story. She hails from Bogata, Columbia, and her life is a living testimony to the rewards of perseverance, and the redemptive grace of God. Her faith, linked up with the power of God living inside of her, enabled her to take hold of the verse in Joshua: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” She read that verse at a time when she desperately needed to hear from the Lord, and she KNEW He was speaking straight to her heart when she heard it.

Acting on her faith, she boldly made decisions that enabled her to climb out of the pit in which she found herself, and forge a new life for herself and her children. It’s a powerful testimony. And the most beautiful part is that I know her daughter (who is an adult now herself, with her own son who is reaching adulthood.) And I know how the Lord has brought beauty to her daughter’s life, and beauty to her daughter’s son’s life, and well, when you look at the lives of my friends, it is impossible to deny the power of God to bring beauty for ashes and the oil of joy for mourning. God’s amazing grace, at work in her life and in the lives of her children, has changed everything.

So, anyway, it was a glorious morning, and the whole group spent time in prayer, marveling over the grace of God, and what he has done. We gave Him thanks and praise, and brought the other concerns of our hearts before Him. Finally, it was time to go, but the morning had been so sweet, we wanted to continue our time together over lunch.

Which led to the next miracle: in the space of 5 minutes, 11 women all decided where they wanted to eat lunch together.

(Can you hear the angel choir singing? “Ah, ah, ah…..”)

We went to a local café that I had never been to before, but one of my friends told me it was known for having good chicken salad. Since I have moved to this area, or maybe it’s just since I have become an adult, I have figured out that if Southern ladies go out for lunch, over half of them will be checking out the chicken salad and the sweet tea. Now, personally, I don’t really DO sweet tea, but I have no objection to a nicely executed chicken salad, so I was intrigued. The turkey, pear, and Brie with cranberry chutney sounded awfully good, too. Ultimately, Hannah ordered the chicken salad, I ordered the turkey, and we each shared half a sandwich with the other. Culinary crisis averted, curiosity satisfied. (I think the turkey was better, by the way, although the pears could have been a little more ripe.)

So, anyway, we talked and laughed and ate, and laughed, and continued the joy of the morning that we had shared together.

Came time to pay the bill, and our waitress showed up, got our attention, and told us, “Ladies, your bill has been paid. Thank you for coming, and have a nice day.”

Eleven mouths fell open, as we all stared at her, dumbfounded.

“What…??? Who….????”

“Ladies, I’m not allowed to tell you that, but your bill has been paid, and have a lovely afternoon.”

Well, I walked out of there, feeling like a princess, and once again, for the second time that day, found myself absolutely astounded by the amazing grace of God. So overwhelming. So humbling. So undeserved. Totally, totally undeserved.

But yet, there it is.

YOUR bill has been paid.

Now, have a lovely day.


Monday 26th of April 2010

I love this story and that it happened to you and all those wonderful ladies. Send them my best wishes. I already have 3 women who want to come to my ladies' encouragement group. Tell Diane that her madness is spreading.

Diane Barlow

Monday 26th of April 2010

I'm still pondering the generosity of whoever paid our lunch bill. I think God is going to give them a big honkin blessing for that.

Dawn G.

Monday 26th of April 2010

I love how much you enjoy your food -- spiritual and physical. This happened to us several times when we were poor seminary students. It is an amazing surprise, isn't it. Don't forget to pay it forward, ya know! Perhaps your well is full again. :)


Monday 26th of April 2010

I'd call that "Angel Food". *grin*


Monday 26th of April 2010

You should feel like a princess every day... but how terrific your bill has been paid! :)