I knew I needed to take time off of teaching. I love working with kids, but right now is not the time for me to be in the classroom. I still don’t quite have the energy to commit to a 40 week school year. I also believe the education of children is too important for me to accept a job when I wouldn’t be able to put my heart fully in it.
Still, I knew I needed work. I needed a job where I didn’t have to take anything home with me…emotionally or actual tasks to complete. I thought about what I could do, applied as a server at a local BBQ restaurant and got the job. I’m still not exactly sure how I was hired with no previous experience. I can only say that God knew the type of job I needed.
It is a job that forces me into the present. The only thing I can do is the next task in front of me. You can’t work ahead. You can’t save up time. When the shift is over, it is done and the next day starts fresh. Bad days happen. Good days happen. You just keep moving on.
Serving allows me to interact with people. In the last couple months, I have seen people from all different walks of life. Each person who comes through the restaurant has a unique story. There is no time to actually sit and hear everyone’s stories, but I get glimpses. I’ve seen birthday celebrations. We have grandparents come in with their young grandchildren. There are children who come to spend time with their aging parents. Anniversaries are celebrated. Some people come in happy. Others show the sadness in their eyes. Most people just want a little bit of kindness.
I may not be caring for a classroom of children this year, but I still have people put in front of me. It is a very different kind of care, but I still am able to show kindness and compassion. It isn’t a permanent type of job for me, but it was the perfect fit for me during this season. I’ve been able to work. I was both given a job and the strength and ability to complete it. For however long I continue at this job, I will be thankful for the opportunity to work.