The other day my family went out to lunch in celebration of my birthday. A couple days in advance of this dinner my Mom calls me to say Dad had picked a restaurant he thought we might all enjoy, but I had veto power. I couldn't have been more surprised when my Mom said that Dad wanted to take us to Kyoto (a Japanese Steakhouse). My meat and potatoes Dad wanted to eat sushi?? I was thrilled.
Well, it turns out Dad was more interested in the teppanyaki cooking. I was more than willing to go along and enjoy my first teppanyaki experience. It would seem everyone in my family had been there and experienced the food before, even my parents. Here I am, with my love for the culinary arts, and I was the only one in my family who had never had teppanyaki before.
Now, for those of you who aren't aware of teppanyaki it's a style of Japanese food preparation where the chef cooks your meal before you in what can often be an elaborate presentation. Our chef was good, and his food was delicious, but he wasn't the chef that captured my attention during the meal.
The chef that kept me captivated for most of our meal was preparing food across the room for a large extended family. I first noticed him when he took the time to entertain the children at his section in a very amusing way. I noticed him even more when he started to encourage the children at this table to repeat the phrase, "Celebrate Jesus". Then he began to sing the song, "Celebrate Jesus Celebrate!" both in English and in Spanish.
As I became more engrossed the conversation happening at this table I was made aware that the family enjoying the meal had just come from church. Call me cynical, but I was in the restaurant business long enough to know a few wait staff that would talk "christianese" with church folks to get a bigger tip, these same waiters/waitresses you'd never find entering a church building.
I was put to shame though when I began listening to this chef talk about the book of Daniel. He told these children very vivid Bible stories and inserted different viewpoints and lessons into the stories (mostly for the adults present). This wasn't a person after a bigger tip, this gentleman sincerely and genuinely believed in Jesus as our Savior.
He was so passionate in what he shared (and how he shared) that there came I time in the course of the meal that I realized that the restaurant was really rather quiet. I looked around and noticed that it wasn't just me listening to this chef, it was everyone else in the restaurant too. WOW, what a witness!!
I pray that God gives me the faith and courage to be that kind of witness in my everyday life too.