I bought a man a cheeseburger the other day.
The kids and I had made our way to the fast food play land for cheap entertainment and free refills on drinks. I saw the man come in just after us and immediately noticed he was most definitely down on his luck.
He stood back quite a ways, counting his change. I ordered my ice creams and then turned to him and said, "What can I get you for dinner? It's on me tonight." He looked completely shocked and was very hesitant to answer. I smiled and said, "Anything you want!"
He sheepishly ordered a double cheeseburger and a coffee. No fries.
(This, by the way, the only time in my life I've ever purchased coffee!)
He kindly gave my boys each a quarter, assuring them that he wouldn't bite. We learned his name was Johnny.
We went off to play, and Johnny sat down to eat. I watched him out of the corner of my eye. He ate slowly and deliberately.
I held my sweet baby in my arms and thought of Johnny's mother. I wondered if she is still alive. Johnny isn't young, so it's most likely she isn't. Did she know or care of the circumstances that her son was living in? Had she been a kind mother? What had caused Johnny's life to take the turn that it did?
I said a prayer for Johnny.
I said a prayer for my boys. I prayed that no matter where they go, or what curves life throws at them, they'll know I'm there. I can not shield them from pain, I can not ensure that they make good choices, but I can make certain they know, no matter what happens to them, as long as I live on this earth, they can come to me.
I hope Johnny's mother loved him. I hope he knew that.
I'll never know, but I can guarantee my own babies will know it.
In the words of Robert Munsch, "As long as I'm living, my baby you'll be."
And the blessing of being an eternal family means that promise continues onward, forever.
Morgan has an affinity for cheeseburgers and her boys. Read more at The Ing Family.