I sat in the drive-thru at McDonald’s yesterday, hoping an order of hot, salty fries would make me feel better about Sandy Hook.
I’d already tried three Ferrero Roche chocolate balls, prosciutto and Havarti on crackers, grapes, cookies, a glass of wine, and mining my RSS feeds to ease my agitated crankiness.
As I pulled up to the window this popped into my head:
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21
I had been looking to other limited, sad, confused and clueless humans to explain the unexplainable, and stuffing my face. Neither were working. But how do I square the need to decorate my cute little Christmas tree and shop for knick-knacks when a bunch of families in Connecticut are now indelibly marked with grief? The Apostle Paul says, strike a blow right here in Texas.
“I’d like to pay for the car behind me,” I told the girl working the register. I’d heard of people doing that before, but I’d never done it myself.
“It’s like nine dollars and there’s a happy meal, is that ok?” she said.
“Oh yah, I don’t care. I just want you to tell them a stranger said Merry Christmas.”
“You don’t know them?”
The girl smiled widely.
See! Paul was right, that silly, little act of kindness absolutely did make me feel better. It also made the McDonalds worker smile and I wonder if some kid eating a happy meal felt better about the world too. That’s at least four people. It’s so simple and sometimes it even makes the news.
So are you feeling flat, bleak and defeated? Here are five ideas for overcoming evil with good:
1. When you drive thru this week (and you know you will) pay for the person behind you. Say something kind to pass along to them. Watch it infect the person taking your order too.
2. When purchasing something at the mall, tell the cashier she has beautiful hair, skin, smile or that she is fast and good at her job. Christmas is brutal on retail workers. Making them feel good is free.
3. Buy a handful of $10 grocery gift cards and when you get panhandled, give one; then look them in the eyes and tell them their lives matter.
4. Donate $20 to a charity you care about. Oh you can’t think of one? How about The Exodus Road a coalition of investigators kicking in brothel doors in SE Asia. How about the LA Dream Center, which is running the nation’s largest recovery center for victims of human trafficking. Here’s a place to donate to Sandy Hook families.
5. Pick up your bible. Yep. We need to reflect on the big picture asap. Our nation and our world is getting sicker and sicker, but it is not unprecedented – read I and II Samuel. The Bible says the answer is to change our minds, and look to God for guidance and salvation. When I look to my friends or myself, I just get confused. When I practice what Jesus said, I get smiles in the drive thru.
Here’s to a Merrier Christmas my friends.