A Meal Where Everything Changed
April 19, 2015
(M) Today John and I want to share an experience of life that we went through recently that changed our lives and a lot of other people’s lives, just an ordinary, little event.
(M) Apparent, we thought. And we were on a work retreat, and we both had been working very hard for several days, and we’d been writing and working, and John’s been working like doggedly, I’ll say, and Jennifer on the website. But nevertheless we’d worked real hard. So we’ve decided we would have a nice dinner. And so, we went to this lovely restaurant and looked forward to it. And…
(J) Well, I want to give the contrast too, because during this time that we went away, you were writing. I was writing, and I was having to do a bunch of stuff with the websites. So during this week that we were away, it also turned out to be my birthday week. And so, we were going to go…
(M) Oh, that’s right.
(J) For my birthday, and we were going to go to this restaurant that we actually had discovered before, and then they changed owners, and they had changed the formatting, and we were real excited about it, because the lunch that we had had was wonderful. So we were going to go, and we were going to eat at that restaurant at night.
(M) For your birthday.
(J) For my birthday. Well, when we got there, we didn’t make reservations. It was in the middle of the week and we didn’t think we would need them, but we did. So, they said, “Well, it’s going to be a 45 minute wait.” So we decide that we would walk down the street. Well, we wound up…
(M) Now this is a John deal. John can start out and not need to know where he’s going, and just trust the Lord to get us there. So there is that portion that’s interesting to the tale too, because I knew just to follow John wherever he went, because the Lord would lead him. So many times He has led him to different, interesting places and lovely restaurants and so forth. So we’re walking down the street, and I have my mind on a little delicatessen that I think we’re headed for, that that’s probably where the Lord’s going to lead us. And John says, “I think we’ll cross the street.”
(J) Ha, ha, ha, yeah!
(M) And I said, “And why did you do that, John?” Later I asked him. He said, “Because the lights were bright in the building.”
(J) Haa, ha (both laughing).
(M) That was the only thing, but it was definitely the Holy Spirit. This was so orchestrated even to the point of having the restaurant full that we couldn’t go to.
(J) So, we went across the street, and we went into this building. It was an old looking, cool looking building, and we went in there. And we inquired and ended up finding out they had a restaurant in there. And one of the staff said, “Would you like to eat there?” And we said, “Well, yeah, that’d be great if you have availability.” And he says, “Well, let me check.” And he came back in about 10 minutes and said, “Actually, there is a space available.” And, you know the other place was full up, so I thought, you know…
(M) And this is much more uptown than the first one.
(J) Well, we ended up finding out that this is one of the top 5 restaurants in the United States.
(M) It’s one of the top fine inns and hotels in the United States, but we didn’t know that.
(J) Ok, and so, I didn’t have any idea about this place. So, we go and we had this amazingly exquisite, the best it could have been dinner, and it was my birthday, and then I enjoyed it, and the food was… I had lamb, and it was awesome. And the way the guy, the Chef presented everything was just interesting, and I mean the mix of flavors and ingredients that he did and colors…
(M) And the beautiful décor, let me say, it was like… I told John, I said, “This is classic, southern décor, beautiful paneling, gorgeous fabrics and a certain English, Charleston look.” So, for me the ambiance was wonderful. For John the food was wonderful, and was too… So, it was exquisite.
(J) The whole experience was amazing, and so from the very first thing that we got to the last thing… I don’t even normally get dessert. Because it was my birthday we did. It was absolutely the most perfect, possible thing that I could have ordered for my dessert. It was a soufflé, pink grapefruit soufflé with a cranberry…
(M) It sounded awful.
(J) It did. It sounded weird, but he did that. The Chef did that; he mixed all different kinds of… It was so awesome to come right after the delicious lamb that had and everything like that. Anyway, Happy Birthday to me! I had an amazing time. So left there and we were talking about it and Martha was discussing the fact that I’ll let the Spirit do that, and I will, and you know, we’ll be in another country and have no idea where we’re going or what we’re doing and we’ll wind up in just the right place because I just kind of instinctively kinda go. So…
(M) Let’s go back, John!
(J) So, we thought, if it’s a good thing, maybe twice is a better thing. So, we had been working all week and hours and hours and hours working. So, we decided at the end of the week before we left, we would like to go back to this place, because it was a special memory. And we went, and we got there and had reservations this time. And we were actually one of the first people to get there. We sit down, and we’re in the main area. It was different. It was wonderful, beautiful, the way it was designed and the way it was decorated and everything like that, like you said. And we sit down, and we’re preparing to have another meal that’s out of this world.
(M) For us.
(J) For us.
(M) Because we had been working so very hard, and it was John’s birthday week.
(J) That’s right. We were going to have an extended birthday, and we deserved it. It was what we deserved.
(J) So, our first waitress, she was absolutely amazing. I don’t know what country she was from. It appears what they did was they would bring students and international students into the inn to staff it. So it was, you know, you would have this kind of international flavor, and I believe that the woman that had served us originally, she was from some part of India or something like that. She was just really precious, very sweet. The woman that came up to for the second meal was not as wonderful. I was like, “Wow, this is a lot of décor for not so wonderful a waitress.” So, we, you know, started to do the ordering and everything like that, and while we were doing this a couple was brought into the restaurant, and they were seated at a table that was directly next to us. Now, there was something obviously wrong with the wife, and I don’t know what it was, but there was something wrong. And they had a little rose pedals on their table, and so, it was obviously an anniversary for them. And so, I was kind of trying to not notice and be aware of them, but it was more and more I couldn’t avoid it.
(M) You were placed. They were behind me so I couldn’t see them. You were placed in directly, almost in her face because the tables were so close. So, you kept looking at her, and your face was so pained.
(J) Well, first I thought that she was handicapped, that she had been in an accident or something, and that her husband of, you know, how many ever years was making the best of this really, really bad situation. It appeared that she had been in some kind of accident by the way her brain was functioning. And it just grieved me. I was like, oh, my gosh, you know, one of those stories. You know, I’m like going, you know, he’s trying to make this special. She was, she just wasn’t right, and the communication wasn’t right; nothing was right. Then realized by some things that he was saying that she was annihilated, drunk, that she was not handicapped, that she was totally capable of picking glasses up of wine up to her lips. But it just, the entire situation was grievous. It was grievous. It disturbed me. My whole, entire spirit was disturbed, and I was I don’t know. Inside me it was vibrating. It was, I was just disturbed.
(M) Well, they began, she began to say terrible things to him and loud and that she hated him, and that he was cruel to her. A big argument started. He was trying his best to keep her, to get her to settle down, and she would repeat the same thing 10 times.
(J) Umhmm. And, you know, she pulled every feminine wile there was. She, first she was the loving, seductress almost. She then became the wilting flower. Then she became the angry, grrrrrr, you know, and it was just she did everything. Pouty; she did that. I mean, I literally saw the complete palate of soulish techniques that can be used to manipulate a man.
(M) And there was no escaping it. We looked around to see if we could change tables, and there wasn’t one, because it was loud, and it was obvious, and there was just no escaping it. It was on us. It was at our table.
(J) I would have said if God hadn’t given us this lesson, I would have said, “Listen, I’m not sitting here. You need to move me.” I would have gotten up and had somebody move us to a different location. But that wasn’t what was supposed to happen. This man and this woman were supposed to ruin our night. (laughing).
(J) And so they did. And our meal was… Nothing sat well with the meal.
(M) We could see the dynamics between them. He was… She forced him to be a hero that tolerated her and helped her get through her emotional breakdown kind of. And he was absolutely caught inside her anger and so forth. But anyway, we start home, and we’ve kind of… It’s been ruined, but I start getting really sick.
(J) You were sick before. You had to leave the table while I was waiting for the bill.
(J) You had to go to the bathroom. I just looked at your face. You were completely like a sheet, white.
(M) Yeah. I thought I was going to really be sick, and almost was. So, we got in the car to go home, and John stopped and got me a ginger ale, and we kept saying, “What?” You were sick too, weren’t you?
(J) Oh, my gosh. When you went in to go, to get the ginger ale, I mean, I was, I had to pull over. I was going to throw up. I ended up not. I got over it, but we were both that sick. We were literally… It felt like we had eaten something weird.
(M) And that’s not typical. We don’t go there. And so…
(J) And we didn’t even eat that much, and it felt like we had eaten three turkey dinners.
(M) Yeah. We didn’t eat that much. And we knew something was stange, something was going on that was very strange. And we just got back and went our separate ways, and we knew it wasn’t the food. The food was exquisite and totally fresh. Everything was fresh. We knew it wasn’t the food. It was something else, and we were just miserably sick. It was a nice little 45 minute drive to get to our place. So, if I remember right the next morning you got up and said, “I’ve got it.” And then what happened?
(J) Umhmm. Yeah. We were sick all the way to the night. I think we both just like literally just said, “Ok, well, we’re both going to retire for the night and hope that this passes, you know?” But, yeah the next morning I woke up and I knew what it was. The Lord said, “It’s your fault.”