So, I’ve been wanting to have surprisingly easy to start conversations about Jesus at my new job, and God provided an opportunity.

At my workplace, there is a cafe, which almost everyone goes to for lunch. I have tried to get to know the people who serve us and say hi to them every day even if I don’t order anything. On Monday, I got in line to get lunch, and when I got to the front, I asked [one of the servers] how he was doing. He said he was having a bad day, so I asked what was going on.

[He] said that his father was in surgery at that moment, and that he didn’t think he was going to make it. An organ had exploded, and his heart had stopped twice. And the doctors weren’t sure what could be done. I listened as [he] poured out his heart and his anxiety and his pain. He opened up about the trauma he had received and his strained/estranged relationship with his father.  

I asked [him] if he would mind if I prayed for him. He said he would appreciate prayer and that he tried to pray himself (I think he is from a Catholic background). We walked over to the side of the counter, and I put my hand on his shoulder and prayed for him, for his dad, and the doctors. When we finished praying, [his] boss walked up to us. [He] said that I had gotten him emotional, but that he needed to leave work early to see his dad in the hospital. 

After getting my food, [the server’s] boss asked if I would send him an email to let him know what happened. I explained what had happened – his dad is dying; I listened and asked if he wanted prayer; he said yes; and I prayed for him. [The man’s boss] was a bit stunned, but when I asked if he would still like me to email him, he said it wasn’t necessary.

[The server’s] dad lived on Monday and last I heard was going to make it (albeit with a long recovery time). But, I was really surprised by the reactions I got later….

At the end of the day, I had actually forgotten about lunch. It had been a crazy busy day, and I was leaving work a bit frustrated.  As I left in the elevator, a woman (who is a Christian) said she really appreciated what I had done for [the server].  She was also aware of [his] situation and had given her phone number to him if he needed anything. But she encouraged me for making a difference and that she was glad I had prayed for him.

The next day, I had a message on Teams from [the server’s] mom, whom I’ve met because she also works at the same company in a different department. She thanked me for praying for her son.

And, when I went down for lunch later, I saw [the server].  I asked how his dad was doing, and how he was doing.  That’s where I got the status update. 

[The boss] was at the cash register, and he said my lunch was comp’d and thanks for helping [his employee].  I protested a bit – saying, it was just the right thing to do. Still, free lunch wasn’t bad.

Later in the day, my boss came up to my office and said that I was the subject at lunch. That the people who work in the cafe were amazed that I had prayed for [the server], and that it meant a lot to them. That in a hospitality culture, there is a focus on serving guests but not showing employee’s problems or praying in public. [The server’s] boss had apparently wanted to do something for him, but didn’t know what to do. Everyone seemed really appreciative that I had prayed for him. My boss, also a Christian, said I did a good job.

I just wanted to share this story because in the midst of our conversations in a hostile culture series, it hit me that yes, there are times and places where sharing Jesus leads to suffering. Walking with Jesus is HARD. But, there are also times and places where the world yearns for and appreciates when Christians step out to care and love on others. And sometimes our conversations might affect more than just the folks with whom we converse.