Last night we stopped for dinner at a place near our home. It was a later than usual dinner for us because it was following my older daughter’s basketball game. We have a special booth here. It’s affordable and sentimental to us.
We talked, we ate, and we left.
My younger daughter had placed her new Invisalign trays into a napkin before she ate and asked me to help her remember them. These were new and we left without them. We both completely forgot…Until 1.5 hours later. When I went to grab her toothbrush for the evening, my mind went back. “Do you have your Invisalign?” “Did you grab it?” Blank stare. At that moment, I knew.
We rushed out in our pajamas. Back to the restaurant, knowing full well we’d probably never see them again and the money they cost. Fear, silence, prayer. I prayed out loud as I was driving. “Dear Jesus, help us find our trays. Please, Jesus.”
Back at the restaurant, now about 10:30pm, we asked our server for help. She ran to the kitchen and the manager came out quickly. I asked if we could dig through his trash. He directed us behind the restaurant to where the dumpsters were and said he’d help. He brought us gloves and we began. Food, wet napkins, sauce, fries, trash. Handful by handful. We all sorted. Ketchup, barbecue sauce, chicken wings everywhere. You can imagine a restaurant’s trash. This was it.
He brought out lanterns and I had my headlights pointed at the trash. The busser came to help. He emptied a bucket in front of us and said he’d go through it because there were shards of glass in that particular bucket. We all sorted. And I said “keep praying girls”.
We knew this was a long shot. As the girls complained it was gross, the manager said “this is not ideal for anyone.” But, they both helped us dig. They didn’t condemn, they didn’t shame, they didn’t leave us alone in the dark by the dumpster. They too got their hands dirty for our mistake. Blessing!
About 15 minutes in, the busser said “I found it!” In the bucket with the glass. The one he wouldn’t let us go through in case we might cut ourselves. What ?!?!? Are you serious ?!? I hugged him, dirty gloves and all. I had no cash to offer, just pure gratitude. To them both. And to God. For helping us remember that night and find two clear Invisalign trays ($$$) in a restaurant’s trash at 10:30 pm.
This happened at No Frills Grill in our hometown. And, now, it has an even bigger place in our hearts. To say the least.
Thank you, Jesus, for blessing our nighttime dumpster dive with your Presence and people with hearts to help. All Glory goes to You for this story too. And, lesson learned, no more putting the trays in napkins!