Marci’s boyfriend disappeared five years earlier when she was only 19 years old, leaving her with three precious children and little else. Since then, she juggled three jobs to keep her family fed and pay the rent. Nothing was easy. The struggle was real. Marci knew God loved them, but life was pretty hard.
Driving down the road one day, her oldest daughter told her that all the kids at school brought ‘happy meal’ toys to play with. “Why don’t we get toys like the other kids do?” she asked. Her younger siblings, liking the idea, piped in enthusiastically, “We want to go to McDonalds! We want happy meals!”
Chewing on her lower lip, Marci knew such an excursion would blow her carefully planned budget. Laundry day was coming and she needed every coin she could find. McDonald’s meals for three kids was a luxury she couldn’t afford…But, it killed her that her children felt left out and cheated from such a small, rare pleasure.
The Golden Arches beckoned her and with tears in her eyes she made a snap decision, and began mentally shifting financial priorities as she pulled into the parking lot.
At the first window they placed the order for three happy meals and understandably, the kids were beside themselves with joy. Desperately, Marci began spelunking in the dark depths of her purse for coins, hoping against hope that before they arrived at the payment window she could actually cobble together enough to cover the cost.
Successfully patching together a few crumpled bills with a hodgepodge of spare change, Marci prayed she had added correctly and it would be enough. However, rather than accepting the money, the clerk pointed at the tail lights of the previous customer. Smiling broadly she shook her head and said, “No need to pay. The car in front of you just paid for your entire order!”
Marci was speechless. Three boxes of happy meals came through that window- with a side order of generosity and an extra ‘awesome sauce’ of kindness. Pulling away from ‘the happiest place on earth,’ Marci wiped her tears away with the back of her hand and praised God for the amazing, unexpected blessing she had just encountered.
Grateful, she turned towards home with three very happy kids each clutching their own happy meal.