First, we dropped Dani off at her teacher/babysitter's home. Lorretta and her husband were so ready for her and had the entire evening planned with dinner, swimming, a visit with the animals (three dogs, two doves, a couple of geckos, and a chinchilla), and last but not least listen to Loretta's husband play the guitar. I knew their evening had gone well when I called after the play to let them know we were on our way and heard the background filled with the sound of Dani strumming a guitar with all her might. They'd taught her to sign Jesus Loves Me, so she'd strum a few rough cords, stop, sign the words, and resume playing. When we arrived she was wound up like an eight-day clock trying her hardest to recreate what she'd heard Loretta's husband play. Their service to her was mesmerizing.
Once at the dinner theater, we were escorted to our small but nice table that sat six. If the room were a globe we'd have been on the equator, smack dab in the middle of the room. The view was great, not too close and not too far away. Just right.
Of course no one has control over who they sit next to, unless their group fills a table. You'd think the seating order would be up to theater management, but it's really up to God and who He carefully places at your side. Interestingly enough the other two couples at our table were celebrating their wedding anniversaries as well. One couple was celebrating seven years, while the other rather young looking pair shocked us with forty years under their belt. Over salad we shared polite conversation. Things like where we live, how many children we had, dogs stories, and our professions. As God would have it, when we shared about Dani and her Autism, the couple celebrating their 40th anniversary expressed deep concern for their 2 year old grandson who is exhibiting questionable signs of Autism.
I couldn't get over the fact that out of the hundreds of people in the audience, God planted us on the equator next to these heavy-hearted grandparents. Apparently their son has not come to see the warning signs in his son, leaving these grandparents at a loss how to broach the topic. As we listened to their story it was clear that in the grand scheme of things there was little we could do to help, but we shared our experience, listened to theirs, and offered a little hope and encouragement. Yet another pair of perfectly good strangers to pray for.
The evening was a wonderful change of pace. Jimmy and I hadn't been on a date since my mother passed away in 2006, so to be foot loose and fancy free for an evening was a slice of heaven. The food was delishy, the company was outstanding, and maybe...just maybe we helped another family facing the challenges that lie ahead of them.
"Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another;
be sympathetic, love as brothers,
be compassionate and humble."
1 Peter 3:8