Alan Wildes

Alan Wildes

Delayed flight to public transportation to radical generosity – Part 3

This is part 3 of a 3 part post.  If you would like to catch up please do. and

We made it to the restaurant and Pam is VERY happy at this point as we are out of the cold, feeling safe, and she is watching a trained chef prepare desserts to order right in front of us.  Did I mention that Pam is VERY happy at this point?  The chef is Rebecca and she is a delightful girl who engages in conversation very naturally. 

Our server, Kala, arrives and is already aware of our trek to the restaurant from Lauren.  We begin to dive into the details about the flight, the hotel, and the bus ride to get there.  She says “I wish Keegan was here because he would LOVE this story!”  We were sort of bummed that Keegan was not there that night.  Kala finds the story pretty interesting as does Rebecca (the chef) and another couple sitting at the bar with us.  We place our drink order and begin to ponder the dinner menu (mostly appetizers) and the dessert menu.  We order some garlic and three cheese fries with bacon crisps.  They were even better than they sound and look!

We receive our wine and begin to settle down.  The other couple engages us in conversation and we make some Atlanta connections with one of them.  The evening is turning into quite the time.  Rebecca is very patient with our questions about what she is making, where she went to culinary school (CIA in NY for all you foodies), the restaurant, Keegan, The Food Network, etc.  Even I have to admit watching all of this is pretty cool; me and my Physical Education degree.

Kala returns to check on us and refills our glasses without us asking.  When was the last time that happened to you at a restaurant?  NEVER for us!  We thank her many times and she simply smiles and tells us we are welcome.  Very cool stuff.  We ask her what desserts she would recommend and she and Rebecca narrow it down to two and we go for the ice cream waffle sandwich.  Trust me, it did not disappoint!

So we are sitting, eating the wonderful food, drinking some great wine, having a little conversation with the couple at the bar, Rebecca, Kala, and Lauren as they begin to clean up.  It is well after 10:00 at this point and they are no longer serving but they were completely cool with us hanging out and taking our time.  Kala checks on us and we ask her do we have time for another glass before we go.  Not only does she say yes she informs us that everything is on the house!  Lisa, Keegan’s wife and 51% owner, was in the back and she heard our story from Lauren, Rebecca, and Kala and was so moved by it she decided to comp everything!  The continued generosity of the evening just overwhelmed us! 

About that time Lisa comes out from the back and engages us in conversation for 30 minutes!  She was absolutely adorable.  She is so down to earth and real.  We were both way impressed with her!  We talked about everything from the restaurant, to Keegan (who was driving back from Salt Lake City from an IKEA run Lisa sent him on), to The Food Network and how upset Anabelle (our daughter) is that Keegan is not hosting his show anymore, to what I do for a living.  When I told her I worked with churches on all things Generosity her eyes lit up!

Lisa and Keegan are part of a church plant called The Pearl Church there in downtown Denver.  She tells us the story of how they became involved and her eyes danced and her mannerisms were quite animated.  We engaged in conversation about church plants, our church, Christianity and the like.  It was awesome to hear her be so excited about her faith and her church!  We agreed that I would reconnect with her and Keegan and meet their pastors on one of my return trips to Denver over the next twelve months.  She gave us cards and their email addresses and encouraged me to follow up. Really, really cool stuff!  God is always working isn’t he?  He always has something up his sleeve for us if we will just listen and respond. 

We took some pictures (after Lisa and Rebecca changed their jackets) and said our good byes.  It was simply an awesome hour and half!  We jumped in our cab that Lauren had called for us and were on our way back to the hotel.  You would think the story and the generosity would stop here but it doesn’t.

The taxi driver is an older gentleman with white hair and a white beard and is a soft spoken man whose attitude is to serve.  We tell him where we are headed and we are off.  We have a little conversation and then he leaves us to ourselves as recount the evening and how cool everything has been.  We travel for a while and then we realize we have given him some incorrect directions.  He says “no problem and I will stop the meter until we figure things out.”  I look at the GPS and figure out we are not far away.  We begin again and he never turns the meter back on.  Not only does he not turn it back on but he backs it up to charge us even less than it said on the meter!  The generosity just continued.  We arrived at the hotel, tipped the driver generously, and he was gone.

It was about midnight when we returned.  Remember we left at 8:30.  It was only three hours and thirty minutes, but God revealed generosity through so many people.  The Airtran workers, Michael the shuttle driver, James the bus driver, Lauren the hostess, Kala the server, Rebecca the chef, Lisa the owner, and the taxi driver.  It was very humbling while it was happening and even more so now upon reflecting.  Thank you God for revealing your generosity to us in so many ways.  You are truly a generous God!

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