Recently my husband, James, and I had the opportunity to take just a little time for ourselves and we stopped while we were out running errands for some pizza in a nearby town (aka closer to Atlanta). We were contemplating between two pizza shops located relatively closely to each other. Ultimately my husband chose Bellagio's and were SOOOO BLESSED that he did!
As you can guess from the blog header image above, this decision led to some incredible meaningful connections. But, it wasn't a matter of just stopping in the shop, ordering our food, and sitting down. So let's start with setting the scenario shall we? :D
When we arrived there were two young men sitting in a table against the left wall and closer to the front counter rather than the front window. They were enjoying their Sicilian pie with fervor. Upon ordering at the front counter and sitting down at the table behind them (the one against the wall but near the front window), another gentleman walked in donned in a suit and a fabulous fedora. Tall in stature and with a commanding presence, he stopped after stepping inside and asked in a booming but not overbearing voice if the pizza was sold by the slice there. The server from behind the counter said, "yes." And so the man proceeded to walk to the counter and place his order. I knew he had to be from the Northeast because of his familiar accent, and I was dying to know where he was from exactly. I was curios to know, was he a tourist? Had he been to Bellagio's before? Did he maybe know of better local pizza shop that sells pizza more like that in NYC? Yes, sometimes my mind just doesn't stop!
So, he sat at the table in the center of the front of the restaurant, which was facing a different direction than the table my husband and I were seated at and the table in front of us with the young men still devouring their big pie were located. Thus, this guy was facing us. While our pizza was cooking, my sweet hubby left to get a drink for me since I didn't care for the options at the restaurant. While he was gone, I asked the solo possibly New Yorker where he's from. He told me he's from NY (though forgive me, I can't remember which borough, UGH), and the young men chimed in asking more info. Turns out they're from NY originally too. Needless to say, we were all getting very excited to connect and chat it up a bit. (Okay, so I do remember that either the older fly gentleman from NY was from Queens or the young men were. I'm getting old)! I remember that SOMEONE was from Queens because I recall asking if any of them had ever been to Louis Armstrong's house for the museum tour? By the way, what an affordable and incredibly amazing experience if you're ever in the area.
Alright back to the scene: we're all chatting and getting to know each other. I share that I have family from NJ and my father, who is a professional musician, spent many years playing his trumpet on the streets of NY in between gigs so it's very possible that they've crossed paths in the past. Well, it turns out that not only is this gentleman from NY and lives here now, he's a pastor of one of our sister churches! How incredible is that?!? A chance meeting and encounter outside of our the towns where we live, in a pizza shop of all things, and we meet another Calvary Chapel pastor.
We loved chatting and praying with Pastor Skippy. It was such an uplifting and amazing experience. We got to talking with the young men too and learned that they are both stock brokers and entrepreneurs who are currently developing an a very interesting consumer trading training program so folks like you and I can invest keeping in mind risk management all the while, to keep our risk as low as possible. Pastor Skippy even gave a video message and prayer over one of our sons, Corbin, who as you know was injured last year, had surgery, and is still recuperating.
It was just such a delightful experience all around. And of course, we want to take this opportunity to encourage you to smile while you're out, make conversation... for you never know what kind of meaningful connections you will make!
Here's to spreading the love over this next month of February with smiles and hellos to those around us whether we know them or not. And of course, we want to hear about your Meaningful Connection stories too. So drop 'em below in the comments, won't you?