Never underestimate the power of a small gesture.
A few months ago, our family was invited to a training day for the Arizona Cardinals. It was perfectly exciting. The older girls got dressed up because they are, well, teenagers…and the younger ones in tow got to pose for pictures with the mascot AND the cheerleaders. I mean, is there anything better?
By all accounts, it was a pretty fancy event.
There were food stations and drink stations set up all around the enclosed stadium. Everything was free, and our children’s eyes were like saucers zeroing in on the free ice cream sundae station and the huge pieces of chocolate cake being doled out. It was all you could eat. Better than Shoney’s! Does Shoney’s still exist?
Who can beat 24/7 all you can eat breakfast buffet? I digress..
We stood in the lines, got the goods, and we were ready to chow down. Our children are always very good at reminding the family to say a quick prayer when we go out to eat. They really are our path to heaven. We basically make the sign of the cross, bow our heads, and bless our food. Nothing dramatic, nothing lengthy, nothing particularly or outwardly attention catching.
Fast forward and we realize we had neglected beverages in our excitement of mini tacos, sliders, nachos and the like.
We are easily distracted by good food.
My husband rushes off to the bar area to get some Diet Cokes and Sprites for the family. I notice he sat down with a man and was chatting. Oh no…this may take a while. He LOVES to talk. He is friendly, engaging, outgoing, and loves meeting new people. Legend has it that if John was “nowhere to be found” in college, the phrase would go…”He must be meeting the last 1,000 people on campus!” He’s that guy. We patiently wait.
The kids go and get massive desserts and bring them back. Still, no John.
Finally he returns to the table, and he was moved. He said the man who he was talking to noticed our quick family prayer and wanted him to know how encouraged he was. He said he had fallen away from the Catholic faith and was trying to find his way HOME. He pulled out a rosary from his pocket and gave it to John asking our family to pray for him as he continues on his faith journey.
I love that. We simply prayed over OUR food, and someone else noticed and was lifted up by that.
We still have his rosary, and I think of him often during my daily prayers. We are all witnesses, and we don’t have to preach the Gospel on street corners if that isn’t your jam. Be a Bellator in your own way, but be one!