Ready to press on with his day, he was hindered. He had everything he needed packed and ready; however, he couldn’t find his keys.
Galatians 6:9, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”(ESV)
He took a bite and paused; a long pause. A long pause that turned to a sigh. He sighed because he remembered that he never took the selfie, nor did he obtain Juan’s signature on his red-enveloped card. He finished his food, watched some television, took a shower, and went to bed.
A long pause that turned to a sigh.
Jeremiah 31:25, “For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.”(ESV)
He walked back to the place where they first met, left his meal prayerfully there, walked to the bus stop, and boarded the No. 9 bus home. He took off his backpack and sat solemnly next to the window.
He wanted to shout for Juan to hold up; however, he didn’t want to make an even greater scene. He wanted to chase after him; however, he had to wait for the check.
Job 19:26, “And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God.”(ESV)
Carlos was speechless after he saw the picture. However, nothing could have prepared him for what he just witnessed. This very emotional interaction with Juan and their new mystery waitress. He had so many questions, there was so much confusion. However, in the midst of the moment, he couldn’t seem to get word out of his mouth.
This was weird to Carlos, because her name-tag read ‘Eva.’
Job 30:17, “The night racks my bones, and the pain that gnaws me takes no rest.”(ESV)
However, the last one he read was clarifying. It was posted in the gossip columns 7 months ago:
Juan Ramirez: From High-Roller to Homeless – Caught on Camera’
Carlos clicked the picture, and sure enough it was Juan. The very Juan seated before him.
Carlos began to type the information into his search engine and to his surprise, before he could finish the entry, auto-complete suggested the exact phrase as Juan dictated.
Psalms 30:5, “For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”(ESV)
Juan went on to do something that he hadn’t done in ages; something he felt he never would again: he told Carlos his story.
In that, when asked by the waiter for his order, he selected the Chateaubriand, Caesar salad, some stuffed mushrooms, and an Arnold Palmer.
Colossians 3:14, “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”(ESV)
After all, it wasn’t every day that people even noticed him; let alone, offered conversation or a cordial handshake. Juan nervously asked, “Are you the police? Because, I’m not looking for any…”
Apprehensively, the man said, “Juan Vargas.”
Colossians 3:23-24, “(23) Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, (24) knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”(ESV)
At this moment, he stood still while his remaining classmates walked on. A young lady, touched his shoulder and said, “You okay Carlos?”
"At this moment, he stood still while his remaining classmates walked on. A young lady, touched his shoulder and said, “You okay Carlos?”
2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”(ESV)
“Your test is this: Leave this campus, find 3 people in need, and help them out individually. Upon completion, take a selfie with the person and have them sign one of the numbered lines below. After the completion of each act of benevolence, you are to write a 250 word paper describing the experience. You have 2 weeks to complete this task. Good luck.”
"In a weird and intriguing act of synchronization, all 12 students unknowingly began flipping their card to seek the answer."
Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”(ESV)
The test was always about who was honest enough to admit that they didn’t know.”
In an extended and viciously awkward space of silence, the professor then said, “Everyone please open your red envelope.”
"The students began to look at one another amidst an array of emotions. Some of them were relieved, some upset, some confused, and some were angry."
Matthew 7:7, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”(ESV)
Granted, as college students, he didn’t know them very well. However, he did know enough to successfully conclude the following: