Outside the Walls: What’s Your Name?

You never know who you may run into at a Waffle House. 

“What’s your name?” I asked our waitress as she gave us our menus. “Misty,” she said. We began to talk a little as I ordered a couple of cheesy eggs, and then I asked her how I could pray for her. Our waitress looked at me with a puzzled expression and said, “Unspoken request.” 

As Misty waited on us throughout the meal, I found out about her life and her church background. She had attended church in the past when she was in school. I talked with her about Jesus and asked her what she thought of Him. Then she said something profound.

“The Jesus I learned about in church seemed to love people a lot more than the church people I encountered. In fact, they all seemed a bit snooty to me.”

I told her I appreciated her being honest and agreed with her that Jesus did love people a lot more than we do. In fact, He loved them to death. 

I gave her my credit card and encouraged her to give church a try again. I invited her to the church of a friend of mine who lived near the Waffle House. She said, “I work every Sunday morning.”

Some people won’t go to church until the church goes to them. We will never saturate every life with the gospel unless the church goes outside the walls. We also must customize our disciple-making strategies. Our current strategy of Sunday morning Bible study at the church may need to be expanded to church-on-location. If Misty is going to be discipled and cross over from death to life, it may happen at a Waffle House with a group of ladies who decide to meet her there at a time other than Sunday morning. 

A few minutes later, Misty came back to the table with a startled look on her face. “You’re Lee Clamp!” she blurted out. “I just Googled your name. You were my camp pastor at Summersalt youth camp when I was in middle school! That’s weird, isn’t it? I shouldn’t have told you I Googled your name.”

I sure was glad I was nice. We finished up our conversation, and I encouraged her to continue to seek the truth of Jesus.

Whose name did you fail to find out this week? Sometimes it’s hard to slow down enough to notice people. Maybe you need to go back and start a conversation. Who knows? They may already know you.