Four high school juniors walk into an Arby’s restaurant unaware of how a divine encounter would shape the rest of their day, week and possibly lives. I was also unaware of what God had planned at Arby’s. As I sat alone in this Arby’s dripping horsy sauce all over the table in front of me the thought occurred to me that not many people frequent Arby’s at 2:30 in the afternoon in McKinney TX. Then four happy girls walked in and ordered their lunch and took their seats over by the windows behind me. Because they were to my back I was unaware of the conversation and the nervous awkwardness that was taking place. “should I…”, “well if you are going to get on with it or sit down… this is getting awkward with you standing there.” As I finished my lunch and wrapped the horsy soaked foil into a ball it was a now or never moment for her. As I turned to stand from the booth there she was right in front of me blocking me from even standing let alone leaving. As I dropped back down into the booth I heard these words spoken with a nervous smile.
“I know this is probably pretty awkward for you and you may find this very strange, but I feel like I am supposed to simply tell you ‘Jesus loves you’.”
Totally caught off guard and as a person who is rarely at a loss for words or a quick comeback, I found myself speechless. It was an awkward moment for both of us as I mumbled the words, “yes he does and he loves you too.” Then I paused and said, “I am so impressed, I am a pastor and I … I am so impressed”.
This led to the “no ways” and “how cools” from her onlookers and then entered all of us into a divine encounter, including the fifth girl who showed up wondering who in the world this old man was sitting with her friends.
The conversation included the bible studies they will be leading at McKinney North High School and how they want to make a difference in their school and in their world. We talked about LTGs (Life Transformation Groups) and the importance of consuming God’s word. Then we talked about one of the girls desire to make a difference in her world by helping those caught in human sex trafficking in other parts of the world. What she didn’t know was the reality of that right here in our own state. So we talked about what this group of girls could do to make a difference right here and impact their world for Jesus.
I thought I was just going to get a quick late lunch… I didn’t realize I was going to encounter Christ in some high school girls.
After about a 20 – 30 minute conversation and prayer together at Arby’s, I left struck by the fact that these girls, united together were serious about their faith and living it outside the walls of their church.
Thank you for the McKinney North Angels who let me know that “Jesus loves me”!
you will be in my prayers as you take Christ incarnate into your school, community (Arby’s) and to the utter most parts of the world.
“This may seem a little awkward but … I just feel I am supposed to tell you, Jesus loves you!”