March 23, 2017
My friend Licia and I had arrived in Hampton, checked into our hotel, and started to feel the grumblings of our hungry tummies. A quick look around the room offered little information about local restaurants. We had decided on seafood, and ventured down the front desk. I found myself discussing restaurants with a person whom I quickly discovered didn’t even like seafood….. ok never mind. What to do, but refer to my IPhone. We discovered a fish market/restaurant was only 2 miles from our hotel! As we neared the building what came into view was truly a ‘hole in the wall’ kind of place. Licia asked, “Are you sure you want to eat here?” To which I replied, “Well, they have made an entire TV series called ‘Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives’ and most of the time the food looks really good. Let’s give it a shot. How bad can a local seafood market be?”
As we entered we noticed we were in the racial minority, which didn’t bother me but only confirmed that the food would be great! (the mention of race has an importance later in this testimony) An older lady, all dressed up, standing by the drink counter gave me a quick “are you lost?” kind of look. She was on her cell phone talking about a funeral. I prayed for her silently. We placed our order and chatted with a couple before sitting behind them in a booth. My seat faced the door. The man encouraged me to take a look at the fish market. To my amazement, they were stocked with all kinds of fresh fish and other seafood items. Our crab legs came out to the table just as an older white lady came in. She asked if they had an ‘all-you-can-eat’ crab leg special to which I replied, “I wish!” She then said, “Yes, I can eat crab legs all day long!”
The rest of our food came out, and as I took a bite of my turnip greens they dripped down my chin and the lady behind us had just returned from the trash and she smiled and said, “Good?” I replied “Mmmm Hmm!” I even broke my diet to eat delicious hush puppies. We were disappointed that the scallops were fried instead of steamed, but not so much that we didn’t eat them too! It was all very good. I noticed the other lady’s meal being delivered behind Licia and she was having fried fish. I thought to myself, “I wonder why she didn’t order crab legs?” I took another bite of my hush puppy and I heard in my head, “You buy her some crab legs.” I shook it off at first. But then again, “Buy her some crab legs.” I thought “Is that You God? You know she’s the only other white person in here. It’s going to look like a racial preference thing. I don’t want to offend anyone.” Then God spoke again, “Buy her some crab legs!”
I finished my last bite, left my seat without explanation to Licia and went to the window to order her crab legs. I ordered her one cluster because I knew she would be full from her fried fish. I delivered the receipt to her and gave her one of my CDs. I told her that God wanted to bless her, and so did I. She said thank you and looked at the back of the CD. She then looked back and forth at the CD and me and said, “THIS IS YOU! Are you performing locally this weekend?” I told her no, that we were in town to attend the Joyce Meyer conference and asked her if she was going. She told me that she was at Riverside Hospital and had been for over two weeks with her husband. He has Parkinson’s and was really struggling with his health. She told me this was the first real meal she had eaten since he was admitted. She had been eating from the hospital vending machines. I said, “Oh, I am so sorry! You really need to take care of yourself you know.” Then I asked, “Can we pray with you for your husband?” Her eyes welled up with tears and she said, “Yes, please.” Lica and I prayed over her husband Vincent for healing and over Nancy for strength and comfort among other things. It was a very moving experience for her and a humbling one for me.
We cleaned off our table and were getting ready to leave when the man who took my order ran out from the kitchen with a zip lock baggie that contained two clusters of frozen crab legs. He blurted out, “I am so sorry! I completely forgot to steam your order of crab legs! I want to offer you a double order to take home, or I can steam them for you. It will only take five minutes.” I said, “Well actually, this order is for this lady right here. Nancy, would you like two clusters instead of one?” Of course, she said yes. We said our goodbyes and I promised to keep her and her Vincent in my thoughts and prayers. I hoped I had not offended anyone in the restaurant, but more than that I hope they felt the presence of God in that little fish market.
On the way back to the hotel it occurred to me that God had doubled the blessing!! (Isn’t it just like Jesus to increase the fish?) I stepped out of my comfort zone into a simple act of obedience and God super-sized it on a tangible level! I pray for Nancy and Vincent that the spiritual blessing is an OVERFLOW that continues on and on!
Be encouraged to step out of your comfort zone, even when it feels awkward. You never know how much someone may need what you have to offer them.
If you’re in Hampton VA near the Hampton Coliseum and you like fresh seafood, visit:
Hampton Seafood Market & Restaurant
509 Bassette St
Hampton, VA 23669