An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Making a (Catholic) Connection

Last night we treated my parents to a dinner at Arby's, specifically because Jonathan was working. We like to do that -- bug Jonathan when he's working --  and last night we had double the fun because his friend, Taylor, was working, too.

When we sat down to eat we noticed we were missing a sandwich, so I went back to the counter to give Taylor a hard time. (Really, Taylor, the fault was all ours. We kept changing our order, asking you what was in this sandwich and that one, and in trying to get everyone to make a decision even WE were confused!) Anyway, there were two black gentlemen in front of me (one retired, one a little younger) who told me to go in front of them because they saw that the rest of my family was waiting. When I tried to protest, they insisted, saying they had time to kill before heading to the movie theater down the street.

A little later the younger of the two walked past our table with their order, and I asked him what movie they were going to see. He told us, we chatted for a minute, and then he asked, "Are you guys Christians? I can tell that you are a Christian."

"Yes," I replied. "We are."

"What are you?" He wanted to know. "Are you Evangelical? Apostolic?"

"Actually," I said. "We are Catholic."

"Oh," he said, nodding.

I could tell he didn't quite know what to make of that, but he smiled and we chatted a little longer before he continued to his table.

After we finished eating I walked over to them and told them to have a nice time at the movies. The younger gentleman stood up, shook my hand, and said it was a pleasure meeting us.

And because making a connection (a laugh, a story, a compliment, a conversation) with a complete stranger  reaffirms for me the wonderful interconnectedness of humanity, and because it's one of my absolute favorite things about this world, on the way out I ordered two apple turnovers and told Taylor to deliver them to the two gentleman ... compliments of the family who had been sitting at the table next to them.

Hopefully it left them with a sweet memory of having met a Catholic family.

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
-Mahatma Gandhi

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