Bob Evans was quite inviting the other evening … at the counter, at least.
There we sat with a great bird’s eye view of the kitchen and server activity just beyond the counter with its individual seating. Sure, it was hustling, as it usually is, but what caught my eye was something far more sedentary — the chairs at the counter themselves.
There they stood, these chairs, all lined up in a neat, tidy row, each one turned out slightly as if awaiting a butt to claim them. It was an outright invitation: “Here you go, [pat seat with hand] We’re waiting for you, and you’re welcome here. Come, sit a spell and pass some time with us.”
Curious, I asked our server about those chairs. Was it purposeful, I asked. The suggestion of openness and invitation, of welcome. Yes, she said with a smile; we do that on purpose.
Ohhhhh. What if we, you and I, took a page from Bob Evans and turned our chairs out in invitation to come, sit, and enjoy connection and community with us? What if we entertained real curiosity and opened ourselves to learning about others, setting aside phones and ignoring the insistent vibrationbuzzring? What if we even took enough time to make a real connection; one that buoys us up and feeds our sense of belonging?
What would happen if we turned our figurative chairs out, making them open and inviting, welcoming like a seat for a friend or for a stranger who might become a friend? What might that look like? Better yet, what might evolve as a result?
Oh, I wonder.