When Jesus Worked at McDonald’s

This past week, on a Tuesday morning, I swung through the drive-though at a local McDonald’s for a warm, robust beverage on my way to work.

After placing my order I promptly pulled up to the first window to pay for said beverage where I was warmly greeted by a woman at the window who said, “Hello darlin’.”

I almost began weeping (while, at the same time, strangely thinking of Roy Orbison).

A little context…

My family is hurting deeply. The weight of the approaching anniversary of when I walked into my son’s room and temporarily went insane is, at times, so heavy we simply can’t bear it.

My daughter, Kelsie, flew in the previous weekend to go with us to watch our youngest daughter, Macy, in “9 to 5” where she attends college. It is always awesome when we’re all together.

But that joy is always closely accompanied by a dark, suffocating shadow. For it’s when we’re all together that we’re all acutely aware of who’s missing – the gaping, painful hole left by Jordan’s  death on May 13, 2013.

After Macy’s performance we all embraced and wept.

The Monday before my visit to McDonald’s I was numb. I couldn ‘t focus or concentrate. I felt nothing. I had nothing to say. I was empty and bone-dry.

Back to Tuesday morning at McDonald’s…

I was in such a fragile state emotionally, the McDonald’s employee’s kindness caught me off guard. I could hear the sound of a key unlocking my psychological prison door. I could, all of a sudden, hear Jesus whispering to me, “I’ve got this. I’ve got Jordan. Trust me.”

I came very close to asking her seriously, “Are you an angel?”

But the story doesn’t end there.

Then came today (Wednesday)…

I again found myself in the very same McDonald’s drive-through to grab a sandwich for lunch (clearly, I have no concern for my health )

Guess who was at the same window? She looked at me, recognizing me from the day before, and said, “Hello sweetheart!”

This time, I did something I’ve never done in my entire life.

I asked this angelic stranger, “Ma’am, do you pray?”

She looked back at me intently, smiled, and said softly, “Every day.”

I said, “Almost 5 years ago my 19 year old son took his life. My family is suffering. Would you pray for us?”

She said, “I will pray for you every day.”

I began to tear up and said, “My name is Nick.”

I paid her for my sandwich and began to drive to the second pick-up window when I heard her say, “I will pray for you, Nick!”

The New Testament records that Jesus prayed for people often. I know he’s interceding for the Watts family.

He told me so today at McDonald’s.

Nick

To All Single Moms this Mother’s Day

The other day, as I was helping my wife, Michelle, with a number of errands and chores around the house I couldn’t help but remember my mom having to take care of all of those types of things all by herself – all while raising three children.

Following my parents’ divorce between my 9th & 10th grade years, my mom was quickly forced to find a part-time job she would work every evening after leaving her full-time job for the day.

Beginning that year, when football season was over for me in the late Fall, mom  placed a newspaper on my bed with part-time jobs circled. So, when I went to work part-time at 15 it was not to “help me learn responsibility” but rather to help my mom pay bills.

That first year i worked at our Chick-fil-a in our mall. Mom’s part-time, evening job at that time was at a clothing store in the same mall. She would come down during her break and get a beverage – always upbeat and smiling, no doubt to help me know “everything was gonna be alright.”

But, I knew, even though she tried not to show it, life was hard. I can remember seeing her cry during times she was lonely and times when money was so very short.

In addition to raising us kids and working two jobs, she’s the one who made sure the rent was paid, the cars were inspected & registered and running properly, that all of us kids had money for lunches, take off work and get us to the doctor when we were sick, serve as a literal taxi service dropping off, and picking up, all three of us from summer baseball/softball practices and game.  And, to top it all off, she even continued to cook supper almost every single evening when we all finally got home. I could go on…

I simply wanted all single moms to know that all you do matters – and that you are awesome. And, with all of my heart, I thank you for not giving up. We would’ve never made it without your courage, strength and love.

Only in heaven will you know the full impact of your relentless love shown to us children.

Nick