If you want to get on my good side, take me out for either barbecue or Mexican food. I have strong opinions about both. I believe some of the best Mexican food comes from those tiny Mom and Pop restaurants. When you realize the waiter and the cook are the same person, your tongue knows a fiesta’s on the way.

I have to laugh at these places because they usually have a plethora of luncheon specials numbered between one and 112. I usually order “Two enchiladas with rice and beans, no onions” (I got into a fight with onions in March of 1969 and lost, so I’ve stayed away from them ever since).

Next, the waiter/cook tells me, “Oh, you want the lunch special, Number 86.” At my favorite Mexican restaurant, Señor Fajitas in Tulsa, they put my order on the grill when they see my car pull into the parking lot.

I’m the same way about barbecue. Some of the best barbecue joints don’t even have plates. They pull out a piece of white butcher paper, slap some smoked meat on it, and you soon think you’ve died and gone to heaven. These places usually have the name “Bad” somewhere on the marquee. One of the best barbecue restaurants in Tulsa use to describe its food this way: “It be bad.” I guess most of these places don’t have a proofreader.

A while back, my wife and I ate at one of these “bad” barbecue restaurants. Most people who dine here come in their everyday clothes. But that day, as the hostess seated us, I noticed an elderly couple by the fireplace in the center of the room.

The man sported a dapper suit and tie; his companion wore a fancy dress. I’m sorry, ladies, but I’m not up to speed on the exact term for a gown that’s one step below formal attire. Anyway, she looked gorgeous.

From watching their interaction, I guessed that the man had set up this dinner. A linen cloth covered the table, adorned with a silver candleholder and lighted candles. Real silverware, wineglasses and fancy china place settings added to the ambiance. As the two gazed into each other’s eyes, they smiled and played footsie, oblivious to everyone else in the room.

A few moments later, our meal arrived on plastic plates. You could have taken the older couple and their table out of the barbecue setting, put them in the finest restaurant in New York City, and they would have fit right in. I leaned over to my wife and asked what she thought the occasion might be. “It’s none of your business,” she told me.

As I was eating my meal, I could see these two laughing and engaging with each other. Every once in a while, he reached out and touched the top of her hand in a tender way that brought a smile to her face. Was this an old love rekindled? An anniversary? A first date?  Were they celebrating a long life together or beginning a new one? The longer I watched, the more questions mounted in my mind.

I leaned over to my wife and I told her I was going over to the two lovebirds to inquire about the occasion. “No, you’re not,” she told me. “This is their time together, and the last thing they need is someone horning in on it.”

I knew she was right. She’s always right. As my wife and I finished eating and headed toward the door, the waiter was bringing the mystery couple’s third course.  As we walked to our car, I shot one last glance their way. There in the middle of an ordinary restaurant, something wonderful was taking place.

As we drove home that night, I again asked my wife what she thought the occasion might be. Again, she told me it was none of my business and again, she was right. Here was a man so moved by his lady that he created a five-star table in the middle of a rustic restaurant. I was amazed, impressed and humbled all at once.

But isn’t that what love does? In the midst of everyday, ordinary life, it does the extraordinary. Love reaches out to say, “You’re special. You matter to me.”

Amid everyday, ordinary life, the God of the universe went out of His way to do the extraordinary: “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).

Even on the days when you think you don’t matter or no one loves you, remember that God is always reaching out to say, “You’re special. You matter to me.”

What does that say about God’s love? Three words: “It be bad.”