Today I learned that if you ask someone their story while you are sweeping the floor and closing up a restaurant, they will tell you.

This guy named Joe comes into Brown Bag every day–he “sponsored” a table so he and his family get four lunches a day to use on themselves, co-workers, or friends. I see Joe come in with his wife at least once a week; they are super lover-dovey and they laugh alot together. They both have really distinct accents but I had never asked them where they were from since I had started working in August. (I guess I didn’t want to be rude??) I finally decided that was super silly and I wanted to know about Joe. So I asked him.

I found out that he and his wife are from Long Island, NY and moved to Knoxville on a whim when they were on the brink of divorce and pregnant with their first son almost 20 years ago. They just needed a change and weren’t sure where their lives were heading. Once they moved, an older woman who lived in their apartment complex took them in, started loving them, started talking to them about love, and then started talking to them about Jesus. He and his wife decided to give their lives to the Lord and follow him. Now I see their marriage as a picture of the love of Christ. Now I see their son reading God’s word with  his friends at lunch. Now their lives are completely different. God’s redemptive work never ceases to amaze me.

And he used an old woman in their apartment complex. I wonder if she was worried about coming off as “rude” when she reached out to Joe and his wife. Probably not. I want to be more like that.


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