The story I am about to share with you occurred to me about a year ago, but it is still something that comes to my mind every now and again.
I decided to go through the McDonald’s drive through for lunch. Of course there was a line of cars being that it was just after noon. Eventually, I got to the speaker to place my order, then slowly drove up to the first window to pay. As she took my money, she asked how I was doing just like any other employee usually does. I told her I was doing well, and then returned the favor by asking how she was doing.
As she handed me my change, she said she was doing as good to be expected as she kept sniffing her nose. The cars in front still weren’t moving so instead of sitting there next to her open window in awkward silence, I took the cue from her runny nose and decided to continue our brief conversation. I asked, “gotta cold?” She looked up at me and told me that today was Valentine’s Day and her husband had died just two weeks to the day.
I wouldn’t be exagerating to tell you my jaw hit the ground. The only thing I could get out was ”I’m so sorry.”
She looked back down and said that being at work today and around her understanding coworkers was the only thing keeping her going today. At that point the cars in front began to move and the cars behind me probably didn’t care why I was stopped at the pay window talking to her, slowing them down from getting their lunch and back to work, so I started to move forward.
As I did, the words “I’ll keep you in my prayers” slipped out. Saying those words without thinking caught me by surprise just as it did her. It was only 30 seconds together, not even enough time to get each other’s names, and yet she looked up at me and with a simple smile said, “Thank you.” I spent the next few hours thinking what had transpired and finally came to this:
A sympathetic ear and a simple, honest smile … 30 seconds can make a difference!
Featured image: digitalart/FreeDigitalPhotos.net