I stopped by one of my favorite Mexican places this morning. A cute little joint that is open for breakfast. I needed to refuel after my workout at the gym and it wasn’t far from the home repair store I had to visit next. After ordering a plate of cheese enchiladas and chicken fajitas, I headed for the dining area to pick a table. What I saw next stopped me in my tracks and left me with a tingling feeling in my chest. Two lanky young men in army fatigues were at a nearby table, polishing off breakfast.
My friend that I love so much he calls me Sis and I call him Brother, had just deployed for parts unknown and seeing those young men in army green gave me quite a shock. I immediately began to sob, sat down at the table next to them, ripped off my sunglasses, buried my face in my hands and let the tears come. Love, fear, separation and longing rolled off my cheeks in warm salty tears. “Ask them to help you” came the warm loving thought in my mind that I knew was Himself talking to my heart. I pressed a napkin to my eyes and swallowed. “Excuse me, Sir. Can you help me please?”. They turned and looked at me calmly waiting until I regained my composure enough to speak. The one nearest to me, a lanky blonde with an honest Kansas farm boy face, said “Yes ma’am?” I took a deep breath. “Seeing you two is quite a shock. My brother just deployed from Germany to parts unknown. I saw him last before they moved to Germany. I don’t know where he is, I can’t know. And I didn’t get to hug him goodbye when he deployed, since he deployed from Germany. Would you mind? Could I give you a hug?”
He immediately stood to his feet and held out his arms. I embraced him, taking in his cologne I didn’t recognize and aware that my cheek that I pressed against his neck was wet with tears. At arms length again, I held his gaze for just a moment. “Thank you. I feel better now.” “You’re welcome, ma’am. And good luck to your brother.”
They left immediately. As they walked outside the restaurant, I saw through the window as they climbed into an enormous black dually truck-a total wildatheartmobile. I smiled at this and sighed. I did feel better. Peace replaced the shock and grief in my chest and I turned my attention toward breakfast.
I was not hungry, per se. But I knew I had to eat right after a workout. I managed to eat about one third of the Tex Mex delight the smiling olive skinned cooks had prepared for me. After one last spoonful of salsa verde and rice, I knew I couldn’t eat another bite.
And then I realized what a little golden moment this was for me-the woman who used to eat her feelings. Instead of overeating in an addictive unhealthy attempt to squash my emotions, I had let the tears come, been humble and vulnerable enough to ask for help and receive it, and then found to my grateful delight that food didn’t have an emotional hold on me anymore. It was just fuel. Thank God.-Shula
PS Please pray for Michael and Angela