Monday, April 20, 2009

About the older man at McDonald's

Time for lunch, let's go to lunch, how about McDonald's?, noIdon'twanttogotoMcDonald's. We're at McDonald's.
The usual lunch crowd.  Long line at the drive-thru, wasting time and gas. Short line inside. The normal hubbub of conversation, fries beeping, orders, registers. Ice rattling near the pop machines.
Young moms with little kids not eating their nuggets. Senior citizen couples with coffees. A few office types like us. Some construction guys. Burgers and fries at noon on a dreary Monday.
Michelle and I sit at a bar-height table and chat about weekends and ballgames and work and Monday things.
The TV is on Fox news and I try to ignore it. Because.
There to my right, a gentleman by himself. A "senior." Cup of coffee. Burger. Fries. On the table in front of him, untouched. He's comfortably dressed, and if I had to guess his line of work, I'd say, retired farmer, but really? Who knows.
Like I said, he's alone.
And as I watch, he takes a breath, and folds his hands, and bows his head.
And suddenly, McDonald's seems silent, the sacred somehow finding its way in and sitting with us, as it so often does, unawares.
I watch him pray. He's perfectly still.
For a long minute he prays. And he looks so intense, yet so peaceful, here in McDonald's, asking for God's blessing on these burgers, these fries, and what else? For a wife who should be here, and is not? For a child, a grandchild, himself? Or perhaps, even, for those sitting alongside him?
Indeed, it's not my business, who or what he prays for, and specious of me to guess. Yet how could I not add just a small thought to his, and His? For whatever, there in the busy-ness of a Monday noon at McDonald's.
As the gentleman moves to begin his lunch, so I finish mine. And the day begins again.

1 comment:

ScLoHo (Scott Howard) said...

Thanks Cathy for sharing this bit of perspective to our busy lives...