Last night I took my wife out to dinner for Valentine’s Day. It was a nice place. This restaurant had a holiday “special” that was a little steep but, after all, it was Valentine’s Day. We considered this nicer than normal dinner our mutual gift to each other. But, to be honest, we both felt a little guilty because there was no tangible gifts that we exchanged that night.
We were enjoying the night, the conversation and the dinner when we saw a young dating couple walk into the restaurant and sit down in a booth just across from us. It was obvious they were ga ga over each other. The young man, straining to impress the young lady, was the perfect gentleman. They looked deeply into each others eyes adoringly and spoke softly, the girl giggly at his jokes.
Ah, young love.
Then their adoring eyes looked at the price of the Valentine’s Day “special” (that was the only thing on the menu that night) and their eyes almost bugged out of their sockets. My wife and I were trying not to notice but we couldn’t help ourselves. The young man waived the waiter over and whispered something. Instead of being discreet the waiter almost yelled back to the manager, “Can I get the regular menu?”
Debbie and I both felt bad for the couple. How embarrassing. Although most people around us didn’t seem to notice the waiter showed bad form and the young knight was embarrassed in front of the maiden he was trying to impress.
Once armed with the new menus the same buggy eyed look was still in their eyes, the look that screamed “sticker shock!” The couple put the menus down and leaned across the table whispering to each other. They were about to sneak out while the waiter was in the back.
When my wife and I turned and looked into each other’s eyes we knew exactly what we were going to do. With a remembering nod we both flashbacked to the several times we were dating and had to leave restaurants that we had gone into because the menus outmatched our budgets.
Almost speaking over each other we said, “Let’s buy them dinner.”
As discreetly as I could I walked over to the young couple, leaned down and whispered, “Hey, dinner’s on us tonight” pointing over to my wife. “We’ve been married for seventeen years and dated for four years before that. You both remind us of us when we were young and dating. There were several times we had to walk out of restaurants because it was more expensive than we thought it was going to be. So when we saw you were about to leave we decided that this would be our gift to each other in memory of our seventeen years of marriage and our twenty one years together as a couple.”
They sat there in stunned silence with smiles plastered on their faces.
I scribbled a website on my business card and told them, “If you would consider checking out this website when you get home tonight there’s a short video on it that will share with you the best news in the world. It is the reason that my wife and I have hope in the midst of a dark world.”
The young man took the card and looked at the website www.gospeljourney.com and said with grateful resolve, “We will watch it.”
We said goodbye, quietly paid their tab and that was that.
As Debbie and I walked out of the restaurant we held each other’s hand a little tighter. As we strolled down the cold sidewalks of downtown Arvada we were really walkiing down memory lane together. That young couple reminded us of the giggly, starry-eyed love that my wife and I once had and the giggly, starry-eyed, aged-like-a-fine-wine love that my wife and I still have for each other today.
Both of us agreed that buying that young couple dinner was the best Valentine’s Day gift we have ever given each other. And the best gift we gave to that couple was not dinner, but the opportunity to hear the good news of the gospel message.
Thank you Lord for the ultimate gift of your Son!