He wrote of his conversion in Born Again, a book that was launched with a backbreaking tour that ended up in California.
Arriving late at his hotel, he and his friend Fred went to the coffee shop for a snack. The room had a Spanish motif; red tile on the floor, wrought iron tables and chairs. A waitress in a pink uniform waited on them. The men noticed she looked like a young starlet, blondish hair and pleasant-faced. “Two cheese omelets, one milk, and one iced tea,” said Fred.
After she left, the two men reviewed the next day’s schedule a few minutes, and then decided to ask the Lord’s blessings on their anticipated meal. They bowed their heads, and, as blessings go, it was fairly long. When they raised their heads, the waitress was standing nearby, omelets in hand.
“Hey,” she said loudly, “were you guys praying?” Everyone in the small room turned to look at them.
“Yes, we were,” said Colson. “Hey, that’s neat,” said the waitress. “I’ve never seen anybody do that in here before. Are you preachers?” They said no, but she persisted in asking questions. Then she said, “I’m a Christian. At least I was once.” “What happened?” the men asked. “I accepted Jesus as my Savior at a rally when I was a teenager. Then I went to live in Hawaii. Well, I just lost interest, I guess. Forgot about it.”
“I don’t think you lost it,” Colson said gently. “You just put it aside for a while.”
The waitress seemed thoughtful. “It’s funny, but the moment I saw you guys praying I felt excited all over again.”
They talked to her at some length about returning to the Lord, about the prodigal son, and about the Lord’s love and forgiveness.
Later during their stay at the hotel they saw her again. “Hey, you guys,” she shouted. She told them she had already called a Christian friend and was joining a Bible Study the next day. “And I’m going to find a church, too. I’ve come back.”
Colson later wrote, “Until that night, I had felt awkward at times praying over meals in crowded restaurants. Never again.”