I decided to bring my kids to McDonald"s.
we don't eat there.
(True confession: all through my last pregnancy I CRAVED McDonald's. Today may have been the first time I've eaten there since baby boy was born).
This McDonald's had a playland
And I knew Sophie-girl would enjoy it,
so we went.
I parked our car,
took out Sophie-girl
and said: don't move,
and then re-entered the car to get out baby boy.
Sophie didn't listen.
She ran up to the door of the restaurant
and almost straight into the arms of a man who was begging.
He hollered at her: your mom said to stay with her!
And she ran back to me.
She was a little scared,
and I said: he told you to stay with me.
Together, then, we walked to the door,
and the man,
who couldn't speak very well
and was very dirty
began to ask me for money.
I said: I'll buy you a burger.
So, I did.
Value Menu #2:
2 cheeseburgers, a fry and a drink.
Sophie was running around the restaurant,
I was carting around a heavy diaper bag
and an almost one year old,
wondering how I was going to juggle all that food and drinks.
Wondering what the man wanted to drink
and maybe I should just choose for him.
But I thought: I'll ask.
So I did.
And then I brought it to him.
And then he followed me back inside
and the people working there were looking at us
and the people eating there were looking at us
and the man asked: are you babysitting?
And I said: no, these are my babies.
And I was shaking...wondering what I'd do if the employees treated him badly.
But they didn't.
And he left.
And I sat down, still shaking.
Stop shaking, I told myself.
Eat. Your nutrient-less lunch.
And then Sophie-girl got stuck in this enormous play structure. Leaving Mason by himself in a high chair, I prayed: please protect him and I had to climb ALL the way to the top to get Sophie-girl, through tubes that were disgusting and hot and clammy. She was crying and sweaty when I reached her. Then I couldn't fit into the slide tube to slide down, an easier alternative to climbing back down backwards. Which I ended up having to do. Climb down a disgusting hot clammy small tube backwards. And I could hear Mason, calling for us. So I tried to go faster. And I did. No, if you are thinking that all this leads to me falling out of the tube backward, I didn't. Thank God.
And a man said to me: that was nice what you did. Buying lunch for that man.
And I thought: shouldn't we all be doing this?
Clambering through muggy playstructure tunnels to reach the ones who are loved and bring them home and feed them? Shouldn't we be climbing over one another to do that? Even if we don't fit in the tunnels. Even if it makes us shake. Even if we are afraid of what others will think.
Isn't this the Kingdom of God?
It exists here. Now. At our door. In our very lives.
We are Kingdom living.
And I wish I lived that way all the time.
Because mostly I don't.
Mostly I don't give.
To the man begging or the child whining or the husband asking or the friend needing.
we need to have our boundaries.
at lunch at McDonald's,
I thought about living in a way
where I am climbing over myself to give.
Even if it makes me shake.
linking up with Imperfect Prose.