The Waiting Heart
“Hi, how’s it going?” The student was just sitting with an open book on her lap. It didn’t appear to me that she was actually reading it. Perhaps, she was worrying over something and this would be the moment the Lord would let me tell her about the One who could help her? I started to sit down but did not get both knees on the grass before her response reversed my direction.
“Are you one of those Jesus freaks? I am not interested and I mean it. Just leave me alone, will you?” I was still hopeful, though standing, because she so obviously needed Jesus to cheer her up.
“Uh, well, I am a Christian but I don’t want to bother you. I just thought, if you are alone, you might like to talk with someone. Guess I was wrong, huh?”
“Just leave; I’m waiting for someone and if you are here, he might not come over.” Of course, it was the “sitting alone, waiting for Mr. Right to notice me” scenario. Hmm, her crabbiness may not be so much a sign of serious worries after all.
Okay, this day was not going as planned—beginning with an early breakfast. For once I went to the Dining Room in case my person might be there. Eating slowly, I surveyed the steady stream of kids woofing down their meal. I was not discouraged when I had to head for my first class; there was still plenty of time.
At the conclusion of that class, and every class that morning, I lingered a little, just in case. No one was obvious to me. The frustrated girl on the lawn had been my target during the lunch break. I was determined to actually strike up a conversation, instead of just glancing around for anyone who might be looking at me in some special way.
As I left the beautifully manicured lawn of The Oval, anxiety began to squeeze my heart. With most of my afternoon consumed by chemistry labs, I now had only one hour. Since we were not allowed to talk during the lab, it was not likely my person would be found there. Well, never mind, God would show me my Divine appointment.
“Hey, was the food that bad tonight?” The huge grin on the red-headed Work-Study student wiping the table next to me did not put a smile on my face; the day was so nearly over. Darkness was falling.
“It’s been a really hard day,” I said, still pushing the mystery meat around with my fork. I had been so hopeful; but, alas, I had to face the truth. The Dining Room was completely empty, save for the student who cleaned up after the messy upperclassmen and me. I lifted my tray so she could swipe her chlorinated cloth under it.
“And, they just had to pick tonight to serve mystery meat for supper. Bummer.” A very slight grin escaped the corners of my mouth, which made her laugh with glee. She tossed down her wet rag and, pulling out a chair, sat down across from me. “So, what’s the deal? Boyfriend problems? Prof just doesn’t understand that a dog really can eat homework?”
“Oh, I wish. No, it is worse than that.” Well, Little Miss Smiley Face just would not be depressed with me, neither was she going to leave the table until I told her my sad tale.
“I have been looking all day; now, the day is over and I never found my person. The conference speaker last night told us that, if we would but ask the Lord, God would give us someone with whom we could share what Jesus had done in our lives. I asked God this morning and even asked Him for the courage to do it. Ha, it was all for nothing. I spent the whole day looking and practicing what I would say. Maybe I should try again when I can get to supper sooner. I may have missed my person.”
“Well, I am here. Maybe I am your person.”
“No, that’s okay, really. You need to get home. I’m okay.” I looked up to see the tears in her eyes beginning to trickle down her cheeks. She was no longer smiling.
“I’m not kidding. Maybe, I am your person. Won’t you tell me about Jesus?”
I left the Dining Room that evening with a new sister-in-Christ and the joy that passes all understanding.
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