A Glimpse of God Working at Panera Bread

(Photo: Unsplash)

I’m sitting in a Panera Bread as I type this.  I came here with my bible study materials and my lap top looking for a quiet place to have a glass of tea and get some things done.  Call me an optimist or a fool, but every time I go to a public place to read or write I picture a quiet little cozy alcove to be with my creative thoughts.  And yet, every restaurant and coffee house has music playing and other people.  Many of whom came with someone else.

I am not one who can put words together while hearing other words.  I can handle distant muted conversations or quiet music that doesn’t beg me to sing along.  Much else and my concentration is blown.  So I came in loaded down with my stuff to “work”, an iced tea with Splenda and a naive dream.  I chose a booth (I like them better than chairs) away from the big group having a meeting.

As I unloaded my bible, planner and laptop I noticed a couple of ladies at a small table a short distance away.  And I hoped they would talk quietly enough.  I was wrong.  One of them droned on and on; she appeared to be telling her life story!  And she had a lot of life story.  These were older ladies.  Other than the white hair on one, their outfits gave away their age.  They were dressed to the nines – Sunday morning attire on a Tuesday morning in a fast casual joint.  The other tell?  They were eating lunch at 10:30am.

Frustration at Panera Bread

I won’t sugar coat it.  I got annoyed quickly and scanned the room for a better spot.  But I had a lot of stuff spread out on this table.  Such a hassle.  So I sat and tried not to fume.  As little bits and pieces of their conversation drifted over, I began to think about the privilege it is to be let into another person’s story.

When someone chooses to open up to me, I feel honored.  Sharing in this way generates intimacy and trust.  So as this impeccably dressed, white haired lady told stories of her relationship with her father and something that happened to her as a teen I started to see the beauty of the moment.  And then she said to her friend, “isn’t it funny how God works sometimes.”  In that instant this precious exchange turned into a sacred moment.  And God allowed me to witness it at Panera Bread. Oh, and I still got my work done since it inspired me to write.  Isn’t it funny how God works sometimes?han

A Special Thank You

I want to offer my sincere gratitude to those of you who have served in our armed forces.  And thank you to the spouses and children of our service men and women for the many sacrifices you have made as well.  I know that our freedoms don’t come free and one day a year is not enough time to honor you.

And now for this week’s featured post from the link up!

Grace and Truth’s own Tammy Kennington gave us a beautiful collection of Thanksgiving quotes and verses.  She helped turn my heart in the right direction and really gave me some ideas to chew on.  Make reading her post a part of your gratitude celebration.

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MAREE DEE – Embracing the Unexpected
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LISA BURGESS – Lisa notes
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TAMMY KENNINGTON – Restoring hope. Pursuing peace.
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Lauren Sparks is a wife and mom of 2 daughters – one with special needs – and one bonus son. She lives, worships Jesus, and teaches yoga in Dallas, TX area. She is a contributing author on 3 devotional books, she shares her adventures, victories, and flub-ups from her laptop at

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