You can find the extraordinary in ordinary people if you just keep your eyes open for it. Here’s one of them.
Anabel is a native of Mexico. I’m not sure how long she’s been in the United States, but she received her citizenship within the past year. It would have been the most exciting day in her life except for one thing. Her husband is not here with her.
I met Anabel because she works as a waitress at my favorite breakfast stop. I’d eaten there several times before I had my first conversation with her. I knew her name, and she knew mine, and we always spoke to each other, but that was all.
Then one morning as I waited for my buddy to join me, I noticed she’d been crying and was having to fight to keep from starting up again. Her eyes glistened with tears, and the redness her crying produced marred her beautiful Hispanic complexion.
She didn’t seem to have a lot of customers, so I asked her what was wrong. That’s when she told me about her husband. At that time, she was legally here on a green card, but she didn’t yet have her citizenship. Her father was a citizen, and he was sponsoring her for it.
Her husband, on the other hand, had no living parents and no one to sponsor him. They had to wait until she got hers, and then she could sponsor him, but in the meantime he had to remain in Mexico. It’s obvious she loved him very much and missed him terribly. We talked a bit, and then I asked her if I could pray with her. She gave me a huge smile and nodded, so I had her sit down for a moment. I held her hand and prayed for her, her kids and her husband, asking God to open the door for her to receive her citizenship and then for Him to bring her husband to her and open the door for him, too.
We’ve talked many times since then. It’s a family sort of restaurant with a lot of regular customers, and the owners let the waitresses have the leeway to visit with customers as long as it doesn’t keep them from serving other customers who need them.
Anabel is a licensed cosmetologist. Several of her friends have suggested to her that she get a part-time job at a beauty shop in the afternoons and evenings. She says she could definitely make more money if she did, but that would take away her time with her children. She recognizes that her relationships with them are much more important than bringing in more money.
Friends have also told her she’s foolish to wait until her husband can come into the country legally. They tell her she should hire coyotes to bring him across the border.
We talked about that this morning, and I told her she was right and her friends were wrong. First of all, doing it legally is the right thing to do, and secondly, dealing with coyotes can be very dangerous. She agrees totally.
This young woman inspires me. She doesn’t have much in the way of material good, waitressing in a small, neighborhood breakfast-and-lunch only restaurant. But she has character. She has her head on straight. Unlike many people I know who have vastly more money and things and take them for granted, she considers herself blessed to have what she has. She thanks God for her life here, even as she prays for Him to bring her husband to her.
This country needs more Anabels.
David N. Walker is a Christian father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years as a health insurance agent. Most of that career was spent in Texas, but for a few years he traveled many other states. He started writing about 20 years ago, and has six unpublished novels to use as primers on how NOT to write fiction. Since his retirement from insurance a few years ago, he has devoted his time to helping Kristen Lamb start Warrior Writers’ Boot Camp and trying to learn to write a successful novel himself.