Last night, I met some old high school friends for dinner. I was early, having planned for heavier traffic than was the reality (when does THAT ever happen?), so when I arrived, I told the guy at the host stand how many people were going to be in our party, and he set about pushing a couple of tables together. I sat at our now-big table, surrounded by empty chairs, place settings, and three baskets of chips and three bowls of salsa.

(Hmm. I wonder what everyone else will eat?)

Using great restraint, I plowed through ate a few chips from the basket in front of me and waited for the rest to arrive. However, because I was a full 15 minutes early, the host guy clearly thought I’d been stood up.

By seven people.

He kept coming over every few seconds to make sure I had everything I needed, and to see if I thought they’d be there soon. About halfway through, he said, with great sincerity,

If they don’t get here soon, I’ll recruit some folks to come sit here, so you’re not lonely.”

I assured him (again) that I was just really early, and would have a table-full of people, God bless him.

But, you know, as the table started filling up with the faces I know and love so well, I thought about the kindness he showed me. A kindness, that is truthfully not all that prevalent in our society today. We are so caught up in our own orbit, that we don’t really register the person sitting all alone. We don’t give the one apart from the crowd a second glance, never even considering filling the empty chair next to them, and offering a word that says

I notice you, and you are not alone.”

Take a look around. There is no shortage of lonely hearts.

Go. Fill a chair. Offer a kind word, and maybe some chips and salsa.

You’ll be glad you did…and so will they.


Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4 ESV

“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:11 ESV

All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 MSG