Thursday, November 8, 2012

One Amazing Trip to McDonald's

Yeah, I know.  Everyone's favorite restaurant.  NOT!

But, hey, when you have kids ages 7, 6, and 4, and the place has an indoor playground, you make sacrifices.  Your taste buds aren't exactly happy, but they get over it.  And sometimes, just sometimes, amazing things take place.

First off, we ran into a fellow pastor, his wife, and their two daughters.  It was neat to hook up and exchange information.  Our kids hit it off instantly and played with one another for 30 minutes on the play scape.  The beginnings of a friendship?  Possibly.  Hopefully.  Time will tell.

Then, the big one.  A God-moment I didn't see coming.  A God-moment bundled in a Dallas Cowboy's fanatic named Johnny.

Johnny and his wife took their grandson to Mickey-D's to play and fellowship with other kids.  He and my son played for a chunk of time, and my son even helped the little guy get his toy after dropping it under the slide.  Johnny struck up a conversation with Kevin, Jr., and of course, my wife and I became a part of the conversation as well.  Johnny was a hugely gregarious fellow who loved to talk with people.  A typical extrovert.  I'm not as extroverted as I once was.  I prefer more intimate encounters with folks: one on one types of conversations where we can connect without distractions.  Too much extroverted time actually drains me these days.  Ah, but all this is besides the point.

As we were preparing to leave, the pastoral identity card came out.  Usually, I try to keep that card under wraps since is usually is a conversation stopper.  I can't remember how the card got played, but it led to a very significant moment.  Johnny found a fellow believer, and he spilled his story.

In 1997, he was in a major automobile accident.  He died twice.  Once in the Lifeflight helicopter, and once at Brackenridge Hospital in Austin.  He was in bad, bad shape.  Stuck in ICU, he was fighting for his life.

A few days later, his mother was admitted to Seaton Hospital because of difficulties of dealing with her son's circumstances.  She was there almost a week.  At the end of that week, she asked the employees to call her husband and her pastor.

They walked in, and she had a tremendous smile on her face.  A smile that would not abate.  She looked at the two of them and said still smiling, "It's o.k.  I am going to go be with the angels now.  I'm going to go help Johnny."  Immediately after speaking those words, she died. 

Johnny continued, "An hour after my mom died, the nurses said I woke up, and I woke up talking to my mom."

Johnny said point blank, "It changed my life completely."  And he described how.  This man had experienced a miracle--a life changing circumstance that spurred him onto a life of faith. 

Of course, I didn't discount his story.  I believe such things happen.  My family has its own walking miracle, and I see him everyday.  My son who was conceived without any form of fertility treatments.  My son who was conceived even when a reproductive endocrinologist told us it would take a miracle for such a thing to happen. 

So many people have such stories.  Too many times they don't get shared.  On one amazing trip to McDonald's, they did.

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