Prayer: Bless the Waitress

She’s there every Sunday afternoon when we go through the buffet line. “Rony.” And I think sometimes about her life, that endless eight-hour shift. She piles up this impossible, precarious Everest of dishes, carefully tucking soggy napkins and discarded potato skins into a bowl. There’s so much yuck in her life, Lord, and yet she always smiles and asks us how we are.

What must it be like to wipe tables and fetch booster chairs and dab at chocolate-sauce smears all day and every day? To work until your muscles ache and your fingers are pruny from the wet dishes? How slowly the workday must creep past as she tiredly turns chaos into order, over and over, and then picks up a dollar . . . or a couple of quarters . . . or a nothing. And there’s nothing to look forward to at the end of the day but bare survival, a few dollars and the chance to do it all again.

Father, I know this is the random lottery of life on earth, and that she didn’t win a very big prize. But please give those of us – especially me – who are abundantly blessed a generous heart to tip graciously and to thank effusively. Forgive my chintzy moments and my thoughtlessness. I always look forward to that weekly feast; please help me to live so that the waitress will look forward to seeing my arrival.