So tonight I had a little night out, and ended up hitting the McDonald’s drive through for dinner (no, not my usual dinner of choice — but I’d spent too much time at Marshall’s, was supposed to meet a friend for coffee in a half hour, and was in a time crunch).
So I go through the drive-thru, order my burger/fries/orange drink (because I am healthy like that), pull up to the window to pay, and the clerk says to me
“Um, the lady in the green mini-van in front of you paid for your meal, and she wanted me to tell you to have a nice day.”
Basically, I was stunned. It’s not that it was a foreign concept to me — I’d actually heard of it through a local Christian radio station. They call it the “Drive-Thru Difference”. Truth be told, though, the cynical side of me (a side which, unfortunately, is rather, uh, big) has always kind of rolled my eyes at the idea. I mean, when I think of the bigger global picture — kids starving in Africa, a cholera epidemic in Haiti, and a host of other travesties — the idea of buying someone a coffee and dubbing it “ministry” has always seemed a little silly to me. Sorry, just being real.
So I guess what I was stunned by was how deeply that little act of kindness touched me. The fact that a complete stranger would pay for my meal somehow floored me…and the suspicion that I knew why they did it was even cooler to think about.
So, what did I do? I wasn’t sure how to handle it, so I just I opened my window and yelled “Thank you! God bless you!” to the dark green mini-van in front of me. I felt kind of dorky, but I wanted her to somehow know I appreciated it. She replied with “You’re welcome! You too!” before driving off.
Of course, I can’t be sure of what her story is or what prompted her to pay for my meal — but I know her little act of kindness will serve as a reminder to be a little more aware of ways I can serve those around me and of of how such a simple little act of kindness can empower someone else to do the same.