I have breakfast with my friend Stan most Wednesday mornings at Kathy and Dave’s diner. I normally get a bowl of oatmeal and a grilled muffin while Stan orders two eggs “over light” and wheat toast. We’re an odd pair, Stan and I. Stan is a tall weathered veteran of World War II and the Korean War. He walks with a cane and has wirey white eyebrows and hairs growing from his ears. I, by contrast, have fought no wars and am 40 years younger. Random hairs have just started sprouting … it’s a new and disturbing facet of my life.
We sit at the same table every week. Kathy knows our orders before we give them. In fact, Stan just laughs and smiles at her with a shrug and says, “the usual.” Stan bows his head every week and thanks the Lord for our food and our time together. He never asks me to pray. With me being a professional prayer, a pastor, I love that Stan just prays and that he always prays for me.
For two years I listened to Stan tell me about his precious Carol and the life they built together. For two years I had no answer when he would ask me why the Lord would not just take his wife home. Every day Stan would arrive at the nursing at 3 pm to feed his bride. With a tear in his eye he would tell me, “she doesn’t even know who I am.” Still, he went. The staff at the nursing home told him that Carol would refuse to eat anything until Stan arrived. Somehow she knew.
Carol finally went to be with Jesus just a few months ago. When Stan and I had breakfast the week after her funeral, he had a noticeable joy about him. When I asked him how he was he looked me straight in the eye with a smile that surprised me. “The next time I see Carol, she’ll know who I am.”
Indeed she will … and she’ll know how he likes his eggs – over light with two pieces of wheat toast.