Some of you may remember that Dark-haired Daughter experienced a great deal of trauma about 5 years ago. She still suffers from PTSD occasionally, and is reluctant to go just about anywhere by herself.
We moved in January, from a very rural area to an urban/suburban area. We also moved from a house to an apartment. It's taken her awhile to get used to all this, and frankly, she's still pretty skittish. However, about a month ago, on a spring day that Mother Nature teases us with every once in awhile here in Michigan, she decided to walk to McDonald's by herself. It's less than a block away.
"I'll call you when I get there, and then call you when I'm leaving, okay?" she said. (She was going to go, get a soda, and come home.)
"OK," I said, in my best nonchalant mom voice, quaking inside. This was a HUGE step for her.
Twenty minutes later, the apartment door opened, and she walked in, drink in hand. "I didn't even need to call you; it was so quick!" BIG accomplishment!
Now, once a week, she meets with her job coach at that same McDonald's for breakfast and a job search session. Her worker doesn't get there until 9 a.m., but I have to drop Daughter off on my way to work, so she has about 20-30 minutes on her own.
Yesterday, when I got home, she said she had something to tell me.
"Mom, when I was at McDonald's this morning, I saw an old man ("old" for her, of course, is anyone over 40) and he looked so sad. I walked over and asked if he was ok, because he looked so sad."
He told it was his 35th wedding anniversary, and she replied, "Well, that's a good thing."
He said it was, but his wife had died a few months ago of cancer.
She said, "OH! I'm so sorry!" She told me she wasn't sure what to say, so she asked if she could buy him some coffee.
He smiled and said sure.
She brought his coffee to him, and told him she was waiting for her worker, but she could sit and talk for awhile if he'd like. Yes, he said, that would be fine.
She kept him company for a bit, and then her worker showed up. He thanked her, and told her that she'd made his day better.
That is the Gospel lived out. That is Jesus, both in his most distressing disguise and as divine healer.
Yesterday, Jesus showed up at McDonald's, looking like a 21-year old young woman with an IQ of 70 and bipolar disorder. He was there as a lonely widower who didn't know what to do with himself on what should have been a joyful day. Jesus at McDonald's, looking like a cup of coffee, some conversation and an empathy borne of great pain.
Where will you see Jesus today?