The older couple walked into the restaurant and sat down to order. They complained about everything from the time they sat down. The menu was horrible. It was too dark in there. On and on and on it went. They looked to be about eighty, give or take a few years on either side, and I was just awed by them. I wish I could have kept eating my steak and fries and ignored them but I could not. It's hard not to notice such misery and even harder not to wonder about the root cause of it.
Every life is a story. Every one has a bit of a dark side, I guess. Some just disguise it better. There had to a reason. Perhaps they had received some bad news of late. Maybe their son is a serial killer who just got caught, or maybe they have the Shingles.
It looked to me like they were in relative good health, although that is subjective for certain. What I did observe was that they drove up and left in a pretty nice car and they walked without assistance. They seemed strong mentally, I guess. But, wow, were they miserable.
I guarantee that if they came to a show we would be too loud and would sing all the wrong songs. Heck, they couldn't get on our appearance much, as we are not that much younger than they are. But I am certain they would have found a lot to complain about. Probably would have asked for their money back because our guitar player's hair is too long or his guitar is too loud . . . or something. Heck, Donnie's HAIR is TOO LOUD!
I guess what seeing folks like this really does, though, is make me think of my mom and dad who both died way too early from just being tired of being sick, and sick of being tired. But they were like the sunrise compared to these people. My Lillie would have LOVED to be able to board a tour bus or get in the car with Daddy and drive to a place like Branson, MO. She would have LOVED this restaurant and would have treated the waitress like gold no matter how her food was prepared. She would have gone to every show she could and would have probably even ridden the coaster at Silver Dollar City. Lillie loved everyone and God knows HER scars went deep.
My dear friend Lo-Dee lost her health in her nineties and never complained. No not ONCE! She always smiled and witnessed for Christ and made everyone around her feel welcome and comfortable no matter HOW she felt. I remember when her son passed away how very sad she was. But once she emerged from behind her curtain she instead made everyone around her comfortable with her loss. She cared more about those around her than she EVER did for herself. She inspired me on every level and in every moment.
Now, we all have moods, sometimes the dark cloud follows us around for whatever reason and we just can't duck out from under it. I am not being judgmental here. It is just that these two folks made me sad. Sad for THEM!
Maybe they only need more God in their lives! Maybe they are tired of each other's company. I DID notice that he walked out ahead of her and did NOT open the car door for her. He just slid behind the wheel and started the car while pissing and moaning about who knows what.
Maybe she has been tired of that for decades and hates his guts, or maybe she had an affair with the landscape guy in 1976 and he has never forgiven her. Who knows? I DO know this . . .
Whatever is bringing you down, Jesus Christ can and WILL lift you UP. There is NEVER a reason to mistreat people and an occasional smile is good for you. I hope and pray that I read them wrong and really wish them a better time of it all. But my gift of discernment rarely lets me down and this couple seemed to be on a very negative and unhappy pathway, and at a certain age there is not all that much pathway left.
As for me, I am thankful for the Lillie's and Lo-Dee's of this world who have influenced my own pathway. Just thinking of them makes me smile and makes any dark cloud in my own life evaporate, vanish as if it never existed in the first place.