(the following was found in one of my many journals)
It was over Thanksgiving that I had a discussion with my parents about some things that had been on my heart... questions... where I found myself spiritually... These topics kept our conversation going until well after midnight. However, much to my own disappointment, I left the talk with no answers to my questions. I was even more confused...
It was over the course of the next two weeks that I talked to several different friends, still searching for answers.. Where were these answers to be found? I had searched everywhere I could think of. I talked to my parents, friends, I had been looking through Scripture... What was wrong with me that I did not understand all of this?
It was about 12:20am when Laurel's phone rang. Kyle had called to see if we would want to go to Waffle House with the guys. Carie, Brittany, Heather, Laurel, and I decided to go, even though we really just wanted to be lazy in the room. Matt, Kyle, Otis, Durell, and Jay were going to meet us there.
It was when the waiter, Joey, made some odd comments and walked away with our drink orders that I made a face. Matt just looked at me, understanding my thoughts, and said, "Jenna, he could be Jesus." Now that was convicting. I kept that in mind as I struggled for patience and love during the ordering process.
It was about 1:45am when we started quietly singing around the table. "Our God is an awesome God..." Not an unusual occurrence for this group. We sing all the time.
It was just a few minutes later that we looked up to see a tall, well-dressed man standing at our table, just staring at us. He commented on our singing, and then, staring straight at me, asked us if we would sing at a function he is having on April 3rd at the Carmichael Center. I didn't know how to respond; I think I let out a nervous giggle and then a "wow!" The man introduced himself to us. He said his name - Fred Baxter. He proceeded to tell us that he played for the New England Patriots and adorned on his hand was the most gigantic ring I had ever seen! Yeah, he had won the Super Bowl last year. We were stunned. How crazy was all of this?! Mr. Baxter and a waitress, Kelley, asked us to keeping singing, so of course we did. I overheard one waitress say, "I am so glad they chose Waffle House!" Then Kelley collected our checks -- Fred Baxter paid for all our food! Could it get any better?!
When we were getting ready to leave it did. There was a man in the Waffle House that was deeply touched by our open display of praise to the Lord. I am not sure exactly how all of this happened; I don't know who spoke to whom first. All I know is what I witnessed myself. We were standing outside when this man walked out of the building and approached us. His appearance alone would have caused me to avoid the man, especially at this hour of the night, but the face of this man said something different. The man, Mark, began to speak. Chocking with the words, struggling to express what had been stirred up in his soul, he said these things. "I know you did what you did in there for yourselves, and for God, but I just wanted you to know that it sure meant a hell of a lot to me." He then apologized for his choice of words and continued speaking. He told us that he had lost all hope in our generation... he trailed off, holding back tears. "But not anymore.."
It was when Otis led a prayer for Mark, and I heard the man cry, that I began to really be shocked. Here we are, in the Waffle House parking lot, praying, over this man who is in tears. God had really surprised me with this one.
It was on the silent ride back to Faulkner that I realized something. The answers to my questions... What my brain could not seem to comprehend and the feelings that my heart could not seem to feel... the climax... the turning point... I am not longer the same.
I found Jesus.
When humbled again and again;
over and over.
When broken down to my weakest.
When I was helpless.
Then I found Jesus.
In the Waffle House w/the corner booth.
In the friends that I hold so dear.
In the waiter w/the quirky sense of humor.
In the Super Bowl star.
In the Waffle House waitresses
In the man in the trench coat...
There I found Jesus.
In the most unusual palces,
in the most unlikely people.
When knocked off my feet,
and I'm flat on the ground...
There I found Jesus.
And I will never be the same.