I enjoy going to Waffle House for breakfast. I’ll have breakfast no matter the time of day! I like it when the place is humming with customers and we are close to the cook and food prep line. When the crew is experienced, it is a beautiful thing to watch. Like a choreographed dance. Listening to the crew communicate makes me feel like I am in another almost mystical place where I know the words they speak are English but I can’t quite grasp the full meaning. I have seen some impromptu floor shows while waiting for my eggs over easy! I’ve seen cooks that break into dance and/ or song when a certain order is called out and servers and cooks giving each other high fives with a snappy hip bump. It can be very entertaining.

However we were visiting a Waffle House a while back and it was evident some members of the crew were not as experienced as others. The cook was struggling to keep up with the orders that were flying at her in rapid succession. Some members of the team were not as polite as others when she had to ask them to repeat the order. This dance needed some more practice with a pinch of patience thrown in for good measure. You could feel the tension around the inexperienced cook.

As I watched, I began to have a high regard for this struggling cook. In the midst of all the tension and obvious displeasure with her performance, she maintained her composure. She always answered politely and kindly even when she had been spoken to with sharp harsh words. When she turned to respond to a coworker, I realized she was pregnant! My heart went out to her and I really wanted her to sign my quilt.

The eggs were eaten, the bill presented. It was time for me to ask for a favor and get our waitress to sign the quilt. I prayed somehow the cook could sign but she continued to be bombarded with orders. Our waitress who seemed to be in charge was very pleasantly surprised by the request. As she signed without looking up she spontaneously invited the other servers to sign. The cook was still swamped, another plea went to heaven “LORD I want to get the cook to sign”. The crew signed, shared concerns, and shared small talk. Just as I was getting ready to leave our waitress said “Wait, let Ophelia sign!” She barked orders for someone to fill in for the cook!

Ophelia did indeed sign my quilt. I often think of her and her unborn child. I wonder at the attitudes of the other employees, then the compassion shown in the end. I pray for Ophelia as she comes to mind. I pray she knows the love of God Almighty. I pray she has a healthy child and the support of those who love her. I pray a prayer of thankfulness and awe that God hears all our prayers, even when all we want a signature on a quilt!

Written by Susan

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