Archive for February, 2019

Love in Action

sunset hands love woman

Photo by Stokpic on

I’m a tad depressed today—this in spite of the fact that it’s been years since I’ve celebrated Valentine’s Day the way the morning shows suggest it should be celebrated. So, to adjust my mood (and possibly yours?) I’ll share a sweet story.

After a long, dry stretch of grief, betrayal, and loneliness spent in an unfamiliar southern locale, I have been delivered. And when God’s love gushes into the parched places by way of the thoughtful actions of others, gratitude blooms wildly alongside the relief and refreshment.

Having survived that rough patch and returned to my home state of Minnesota, I have a renewed sense of blessedness. I give thanks for this on a daily basis. Still, living in a world where evil parades as good, I remain in need of daily reminders of what is important, what is true, what is beautiful.

Last Saturday, I enjoyed a wonderful series of soul-satisfying events. A service project at church. Lunch with a dear friend. A long afternoon chat with another dear friend. But the highlight of my day was an encounter with people I had never met, in the dining area of a place I seldom frequent.

Mid-morning on that 15-below wind-chill day, I stopped at McDonald’s to warm up with a fifty cent cup of “senior coffee.” When I got to the counter, the coffee rang up at nearly a dollar. Well folks, I’m pretty close with my cash. I also don’t like restaurant coffee nearly as well as my own home-blend of hazelnut-cocoa, which I produce at closer to fifteen cents a cup.

I declined to pay the buck, explaining that I had expected the same senior rate I’d paid at my Texas McDonald’s.

On my way out, I paused at a table close to a young family—Dad, Mom, and their elementary-age son and daughter. Clumsily juggling gloves and scarf, I replaced my wallet, zipped my jacket, dug for my car keys. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a small hand extended with a dollar bill in it. Startled, I looked up to see the older child standing there. “For your coffee,” he offered respectfully.

My heart almost stopped. “Oh, God bless you,” I said. “But no, it’s okay. I have the dollar, I’m just cheap. I didn’t want to pay what they were asking. But thank you.” My eyes raised to the father, who was nodding encouragingly, I said, “Thank you so much. That was such a kind gesture.” And I floated out to my vehicle warmed by a rehabilitated faith in the human race.

What an incredible love-your-neighbor lesson to be teaching one’s children. I nominate this dad as Father of the Year.

I have told this story to some who looked back at me pityingly, as if I should be mortified with embarrassment. Maybe. But I don’t see it that way. I see the experience as a gift, a playful little wink from God. He knows what reminders I need and when. And that personalized bit of heavenly attention is simply one more blessing added to the heap.

February 15, 2019 at 2:32 am Leave a comment

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