October, 1992. I was sitting with some friends at a restaurant in my hometown. In our Sunday evening tradition, we had jumped into our cars and headed over to the restaurant after the evening service at our church.
We were a group of 30-something couples who had forged some real friendships over the years. In our usual routine, we husbands sat together. Our wives migrated toward the other end of the table, of course taking with them the kids, who were sitting in their laps, high chairs or booster seats. We ordered our food, and were waiting for it, joking, laughing, and relishing the moments on the eve of the beginning of another workweek.
It happened during one of those moments of relative silence. You know those moments—the laughter had died down after a funny line from one of our group, and we were all waiting for someone else to come up with another line. I noticed that the youth pastor, who also doubled as one of my good friends, seemed to make it a point that night to sit next ...1