Monday, October 28, 2013

The Veteran, The Big Mac, and The Gospel

On our way home from fencing tonight Ben was..."starving Mom!"

I don't know how this boy can convince his somewhat health conscious mother to pull into McDonald's and order him a Big Mac on occasion but he does and I do. (Organic purgatory here I come!)

On this evening we noticed a homeless man standing alone in the dark as we drove through the golden arches and ordered.

The sign he held simply said, "Veteran".

We decided to ask for two Big Macs.

"I want you to give this to that man Ben." I said, handing Ben the extra burger and nodding in the direction of The Veteran.

Ben looked shocked.

"Me!?...but what if...well, I don't know. I'm too embarrassed Mom."

"Honey, I know it's hard, but it's simple. That man is cold and hungry and we can help him, so we will. Don't be afraid. He is a man just like you. He was once a boy too....someones baby. We don't know what happened in his life and we don't need to know. We just to need to show him that someone cares."

"Okay mom." Ben says bravely.

I roll down Ben's window and watch.

Eye contact between man and boy. Youth and age. Reality and innocence.

The clash of generosity and humanity in just five seconds...

"Here you go." says Ben

"Oh, wow, Thank You!" says the Veteran with his toothless smile spreading wide behind scraggy beard.

That was it.

He salutes Ben and shouts, "God Bless America!"

and we say, "God Bless You!"

The gospel wrapped Big Mac in the hands of an innocent child and readily received by the humble Veteran? That's what I call beauty for ashes on Lancaster Boulevard.

every one is someones baby


  1. When I was a little girl, my Uncle Pete would come to visit in the winter...didn't matter if we lived in N. Dakota, Montana, or eventually Oregon.I didn't know Uncle Pete was an "alcoholic" but for 4-6 weeks my family welcomed him into our home....then he went on to the next relatives house...there were 11 siblings in this German family....I had someone chastize me about 3 years ago because I was helping an alcoholic woman get into some subsidized housing here in Vancouver, Wa. "Why do you want to help that old drunk for ?" was a frequent remark to me...and I would
    answer, "Because my family loved my Uncle Pete"..thank you for your kindness and teaching your children concern and caring for the unfortunate.
    mary m age 67, vancouver, wa.

  2. mary m....your story really touched my heart and confirmed what I've been hoping to teach the kids..."faith, hope, love...but the greatest of these is LOVE!" I will share your story with them too.

  3. Both that story and Mary's story... such amazing examples of people truly loving others. I want to read the book now too! Thanks for sharing this. I saw it around but had no idea what it was about and hadn't watched it.