Talk about taking the high road. A gay woman surprised a family she overheard speaking harshly about their gay nephew by paying their restaurant bill.
Natalie Woods, of Denton, Texas, told the Huffington Post that she was privy to the family’s conversation while eating at Snuffer’s Restaurant and Bar last week. She said the Christian family was having a post election conversation laced with homophobic language. At one point, one of the three family members talked about how “disgusted” they were after finding out their “liberal” nephew was gay. Apparently, the other members of the group said they would “pray” for Jesus to “cure” their nephew. Woods, feeling moved to compassionate action, decided to “actually act like the Jesus I grew up learning about.”
She paid for their meal and left a handwritten note on the receipt which she posted on Facebook. The note said, “Happy holidays from the very gay, very liberal table sitting next to you. Jesus made me this way.” She ended with, “P.S. Be accepting of your family.”
She told the Huffington Post she didn’t want to confront the family and chose to “show love” instead. Her inspiration came from Michelle Obama’s famous line from her speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, “when they go low, we go high.” And high she went.
That’s a truly incredible amount of grace right there. My inner bitch is screaming out – but, but, but wouldn’t it feel so good to tell them off?! Yes, maybe for a second it would feel good to blow off steam, then it would feel rotten. As we all know moments of compassion, empathy and understanding are never born out of hate and defensive reaction, they’re manifested through kindness and thoughtful action. Often, it’s easier said then done.
Wood’s post has received an outpouring of support and positive sentiments on her page. Many commenters on Facebook applaud her act of kindness and say it inspires them.
Woods used to work for the Human Rights Campaign. She said what happened in the restaurant made her realize the fight is far from over in the LGBTQ community even though great progress has been made in so many ways.
“It’s time myself and the people of this country defend each other, defend minorities, defend people of all races and religions,” she said. “Sometimes it starts with small acts of love, sometimes it’s protesting in the streets, voting, lobbying, or running for a local office.” All of which, can be done with kindness.
We definitely needed this inspiration right now. For many of us, sharing Thanksgiving dinner next week with family members who have views that are not our own won’t exactly be easy. It might be really ugly for some. Being the bigger person in these situations and showing love in the face of hate might be the hardest thing we do. Let this woman’s story show us the way.