Years ago (like 13 years ago), someone I knew shared this story with me called "Table for Two". It blew me away. I have saved a copy of it in my bible since the day he gave it to me. I'd like to share it, if I could. It is a little long for a blog post, but SO worth the read. I think you will be blessed and challenged. Please take a few minutes to read it.
TABLE FOR TWO
by Kirsten Burgess
He sits by himself at a table for two.
The uniformed waiter returns to his side and ask, "Would you like to go
ahead and order, sir?" The man has, after all, been waiting since seven
o'clock--almost half an hour.
"No, thank you," the man smiles. "I'll wait for her a while longer. How
about some more coffee?"
The man sits, his clear blue eyes gazing straight through the flowered
centerpiece. He fingers his napkin, allowing the sounds of light chatter,
tinkling silverware, and mellow music to fill his mind. He is dressed in
sport coat and tie. His dark brown hair is neatly combed, but one stray
lock insists on dropping to his forehead. The scent of his cologne adds to
his clean cut image. He is dressed up enough to make a companion feel
important, respected, loved. Yet he is not so formal as to make one
uncomfortable. It seems that he has taken every precaution to make others
feel at ease with him.
Still, he sits alone.
The waiter returns to fill the man's coffee cup. "Is there anything else I
can get for you, sir?"
"No, thank you."
The waiter remains standing at the table. Something tugs at his curiosity.
"I don't mean to pry, but..." His voice trails off. This line of
conversation could jeopardize his tip.
"Go ahead," the man encourages. His is strong, yet sensitive, inviting
"Why do you bother waiting for her?" the waiter finally blurts out. This
man has been at the restaurant other evenings, always patiently alone.
Says the man quietly, "Because she needs me."
"Are you sure?"
"Well, sir, no offense, but assuming that she needs you, she sure isn't
acting much like it. She's stood you up three times just this week."
The man winces, and looks down at the table. "Yes, I know."
"Then why do you still come here and wait?"
"Cassie said that she would be here."
"She's said that before," the waiter protests. "I wouldn't put up with it.
Why do you?"
Now the man looks up, smiles at the waiter, and says simply, "Because I
The waiter walks away, wondering how one could love a girl who stands him
up three times a week. The man must be crazy, he decides. Across the room,
he turns to look at the man again. The man slowly pours cream into his
coffee. He twirls his spoon between his fingers a few times before
stirring sweetener into his cup. After staring for a moment into the
liquid, the man brings the cup to his mouth and sips, silently watching
those around him. He doesn't look crazy, the waiter admits. Maybe the girl
has qualities that I don't know about. Or maybe the man"s love is stronger
than most. The waiter shakes himself out of his musings to take an order
from a party of five.
The man watches the waiter, wonders if he's ever been stood up. The man
has, many times. But he still can't get used to it. Each time, it hurts.
He's looked forward to this evening all day. He has many things, exciting
things, to tell Cassie. But, more importantly, he wants to hear Cassie's
voice. He wants her to tell him all about her day, her triumphs, her
defeats....anything, really. He has tried so many times to show Cassie how
much he loves her. He'd just like to know that she cares for him, too. He
sips sporadically at the coffee, and loses himself in thought, knowing
that Cassie is late, but still hoping that she will arrive.
The clock says nine-thirty when the waiter returns to the man's table. "Is
there anything I can get for you?"
The still empty chair stabs at the man. "No, I think that will be all for
tonight. May I have the check please?"
When the waiter leaves, the man picks up the check. He pulls out his
wallet and signs. He has enough money to have given Cassie a feast. But he
takes out only enough to pay for his five cups of coffee and the tip. Why
do you do this, Cassie, his mind cries as he gets up from the table.
"Good-bye," the waiter says, as the man walks towards the door.
"Good night. Thank you for your service."
"You're welcome, sir," says the waiter softly, for he sees the hurt in the
man's eyes that his smile doesn't hide.
The man passes a laughing young couple on his way out, and his eyes
glisten as he thinks of the good time he and Cassie could have had. He
stops at the front and makes reservations for tomorrow. Maybe Cassie will
be able to make it, he thinks.
"Seven o'clock tomorrow for party of two?" the hostess confirms.
"That's right," the man replies.
"Do you think she'll come"" asks the hostess. She doesn't mean to be rude,
but she has watched the man many times alone at his table for two.
"Someday, yes. And I will be waiting for her." The man buttons his
overcoat and walks out of the restaurant, alone. His shoulders are
hunched, but through the windows the hostess can only guess whether they
are hunched against the wind or against the man's hurt.
* * * * * * *
As the man turns toward home, Cassie turns into bed. She is tired after
an evening out with friends. As she reaches toward her night stand
to set the alarm, she sees the note that she scribbled to herself last
night. '7:00,' it says. 'Spend some time in prayer.' Darn, she thinks. She
forgot again. She feels a twinge of guilt, but quickly pushes it aside.
She needed that time with her friends. And now she needs her sleep. She
can pray tomorrow night. Jesus will forgive her.
And she's sure He doesn't mind.