This is love.

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This past week has been quite a doozy for me, and I find myself emotionally empty, physically drained, and in need of true fellowship and respite. I can’t get it from Levi today, as he is taking a well-deserved geek/guy break up in Denver with his buddies.

Anyway, after everything that has happened over the last month or so, I found myself itching to just get out. So, I decided to take the kids to Wendy’s. No play place, where they could share all kinds of yuck with any number of kids. The last thing I need is more illness. But that’s not what this post is about.

I was standing at the counter, ordering kids meals for all but Durin. He got an adult meal – the kid is officially a bottomless pit.

The lady tells me the total: $24.67.

I reach for my wallet, which … isn’t … *panic* … there!

I ask her if she can just cancel it, so I can come back in 20 minutes and start over. She asks for her manager.

Then, out of the corner of my eye appears a well-groomed, soft-spoken gentleman, probably in his mid-60’s. He has his wallet out and is already putting cash on the counter. “How much did you say it was?” he asked.

Stunned, it took me a minute to register what he was doing. “Sir, thank you, but you don’t have to do that, it’s my fault I forgot my wallet, I live close by, it’s no big deal.”

He shook his head and said, “It’s nothing. You have all those kids, it’s really okay. I’d like to.”

I stood there, nothing to say, but “Thank you!” Over and over again. He wouldn’t take no for an answer. And the manager gave him a discount.

I finally manage to tell him the only sensible thing I could think of: “Sir, God bless you for what you’ve done, and I promise I will pay it forward the first chance I get!”

He just smiled and waved me off.

I had no choice but to accept the blessing.

The kids watched this man’s act of love, and were as moved and touched as I was. “But why would he do that? He doesn’t know us?” they asked. I told them that God must have put it on his heart, and he obeyed. I told them I didn’t know if he knew Jesus or not, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t the Lord who moved him to have compassion on a mom and kids.

So, when we held hands and prayed over our meal, we joined together in thanksgiving to God for such goodness. We asked him to show us how we could pass on the blessing to someone else in need, and I told the kids to keep their eyes open. The kids are excited to watch for it. And my mother’s heart rejoices in such an outward expression of true agape love.

Never, in all my life, have french fries tasted so sweet.

Grace & Peace


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