Cheesy Fries And A Coke
Shade crept up the hood as I eased into a parking stall at the Sea Horse Drive Inn. Rolling down the windows, a gentle sea-breeze teased through from right to left. Punching the call button I waited, ignoring the menu.
“May I takes your order?” washed out of the speaker, the accent possibly Spanish accompanied by scratchy static.
“Cheeseburger all the way with mustard, onion rings and a vanilla shake.”
“That’ll be $7.26. Thanks you.”
A crack-of-dawn wade fishing trip for speckled trout had consumed my energy. The water was clear enough to see the tan sand pockets in the sea grass beds. Blue crabs scooting sideways and darting bait fish had captured my attention before vanishing in the undulating strands of grass. Suzie, the speckled trout of every fisherman’s dreams, had not cooperated. After a delightful morning of fishing, not catching, I was ready for that burger.
Leaning back against the car seat I made two fists and reached my arms out and back, stretching tired muscles. Shoulder shrugging, I turned my head to the left, then to the right towards the street. Huh? What’s that?
Over the hood of several cars I could see a derelict kind of guy. Unkempt, needing a haircut, tanned like old leather, wearing raggedy clothes, he moved quickly from one trash barrel to the next in the median between the cars, coming my way. Apparently he wasn’t having much luck as he leaned over the barrels, swirling a hand around inside before removing it empty.
He was maybe in his early thirties. My heart melted at the horror of it – he was hungry, in a land of plenty.
“Hey!” I called. He was passing the hood of my car. I beckoned him to come, smiling.
“Huh?” he grunted, staring cautiously. Moving sideways past the speaker column he stopped to look at me with questioning, dark eyes, shifting nervously from foot to foot.
“How about something to eat? I’ll buy you anything on the menu.”
“Gee! Thanks,” he said, flashing a toothy grin. He was missing a few and others were broken. “Cheesy French fries.”
“Alright. What else?”
“Uh, nothing, I don’t guess.”
“Man, get anything on the menu. How about a hamburger? Or, a hotdog?”
“Uh, that’s all I want.”
“Okay, I’ll order it. How about something to read? Would you like a New Testament?” I showed him the helps in the front where it said ‘Where To Find Help When’. God’s word has the answer to life’s troubles. The page number was listed beside each topic. The back pages contained verses that spoke of God’s love and I asked him to be sure and read them. A space is there for a person to sign their name when they invite Christ into their heart.
“I’d like that” he said. Thanking me, he accepted the Testament and moved to a nearby picnic table. He sat reading intently while I wiped my eyes, praying, and called in his order.
When the waitress brought it I pointed. “Give it to that man right over there.”
“Are you sure?” Scrunching up pink glossed lips, flaring her nose, blinking rapidly, she might have been silently praying for deliverance. Or, stalling. When I nodded, she delivered his order and scooted back inside.
Wagging a sun-browned hand at me he mouthed “Thanks”. Picking up a cheesy fry he popped it in his mouth and resumed reading the New Testament.
A seagull’s cry came riding the wind.
Later, returning home, I thought about this man. He taught me something important that day for in a way my life and yours are similar. How often do we accept cheesy fries and a coke when God wants to give us so much more?
It’s something to think about. Huh?
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