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Be a Builder-Upper – Puzzling Patron

Diner WaitressKey Bible Verse:  Timothy, I thank God for you. … Night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 2 Timothy 1:3

Bonus Reading:  Hebrews 10:24

As a teen, I waitressed at a Coco’s restaurant.  Around 9 o’clock one February night, I started feeling sorry for myself.  My friends were at the movies, but I had to work until closing.

That’s when the hostess grabbed my arm. “This is really creepy,” she whispered, “but there’s a man over there who said he wouldn’t eat here unless you were his waitress.”

I swallowed hard.  “Is he a weirdo?”

“See for yourself,” she said.  We peered through the decorative foliage at the mysterious man in the corner.  Slowly he lowered his menu, revealing thick, white hair, silver-blue eyes, and a wide grin beneath his white moustache.  He lifted his hand and waved.

“That’s no weirdo,” I said. “That’s my dad!”

“Coming to see you at work?” the hostess balked.  “Pretty strange, if you ask me.”

I thought it was cool.  But to Dad I acted nonchalant, rattling off the soup of the day and scribbling down his order before anyone could see him squeeze my elbow and say, “Thanks, Honey.”

As he watched me clear tables and refill coffee cups, his unspoken words bounced off the wall: “I’m here.  I support you.  I’m proud of you.  Keep up the good work.  You’re my girl.  I love you.”  It was my best valentine that year.

—Alice Gray in Stories for a Teen’s Heart

My Response:  I’ll plan an “un-card” valentine for a loved one.

Thought to Apply:  Encouragement is oxygen to the soul.—George Adams (Newspaper columnist)

Adapted from Stories for a Teen’s Heart (Multnomah, 1999)

Prayer for the Week:  Lord, please help me become a motivator of others by the way I affirm, patiently challenge, and encourage them.

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