After an extensive search on my mobile maps for local restaurants, sadly Micky-Dee’s was my only choice. I had a headache from a long week of travel, meetings and tough decisions. I had been sleeping ‘on the road’ for two weeks, so my body had given up trying to figure out which bed to adjust to or what time the sun might decide to clock out. I just needed some hot food… some meat!
I decided to park and go inside… the line seemed alright, however, it still took several minutes for someone to take my order. Then, when I finally did get my order, it was wrong. In an effort to avoid the inefficient line, I shrugged my shoulders and ate the mystery burgers. I still had something good to look forward to… coffee! There was a local shop across the street with great reviews. After my surprise meal, I sprinted across the busy street with my travel mug, to get ‘er’ all filled up, and stepped through the side entrance and my face dropped; it was a hipster coffee bar! There are two problems I find with these coffee places: either they have a great product, but their carefully chosen 18th century process takes FOREVER…or…even worse, their wait times are normal, but their product is awful. This one was the latter….only took a few minutes and the coffee was expensive and terrible. 🙁
I grumbled my way down the side walk. I tried not think about going to my afternoon meeting for another three hours of talks without good coffee. Honestly, I was losing that battle…until I saw Sheryl.
She sat perched on a retaining wall asking those who walked past to buy an old magazine. Her left foot was wrapped in an ankle brace and unkempt greasy hair was stuffed under a black wool cap. “Wanna buy a magazine” her toothy smile was innocent, almost childlike. Without thinking, I went into “dad” mode and spoke to her as though I were dealing with my own children. “I’m so sorry sweetie, I don’t have any money, but what else do you need?’
Her response was immediate, “Micky-Dee’s!”
“Sure, what would you like?”
“Big mac and Fries!”
She shook her head, but grinned with excitement.
Again, I braved the horribly run fast food restaurant, gave them my money and time for a second time, but this time something was different! I loved it! I was happy, whistling to myself. I was having fun. Why? I don’t know, maybe cause I had a secret. I was buying lunch for someone who really needed it. I was providing for a lady loved by Jesus. While everyone stood around worrying and complaining about their own needs (as I had done, a mere 10 minutes earlier), I was on a mission for something bigger than me. I was making my Jesus happy.
As a matter of fact, Jesus said, that if we just bring a cup of cold water to those in need, it was as if we were caring for Him (Matt 25:45)! Some might say that this verse is intimidating and too hard to live by on a daily basis. If caring for those in need is caring for Jesus, would ignoring them be ignoring Jesus? I personally don’t worry about that, because loving those around me with my actions is exciting and fun! When I stop to care for the “least of these,”… for the one Jesus places before me… it makes me feel overjoyed and even a little better regarding my current ‘problems’.
I gave Sheryl her food, and just as a little child would, she snatched it from me greedily, said thank you, and with sheer glee dug in. She wanted nothing else to do with me. That was ok, I had more than enough reward: I excitedly returned to my meeting with the secret knowledge that my day had already been every bit as successful, as I needed it to be.