Christmas spirit in the drive-thru lane

Published 11:22 pm Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Last Friday after picking up my kids from school, we decided that we would stop by our local Wendy’s, across from Sentara Obici Hospital, to have lunch. Instead of going inside, we decided to go through the drive-thru.

While we were waiting for the car in front of us, we were talking about Christmas and its true meaning: Jesus, love, peace and goodwill toward others.

My son is preparing for his first Eucharistic feast on Christmas Eve, and we were discussing why this sacrament is important to him, to his family and to Jesus Christ. Taking this Sacrament on this night will be very memorable to him, because we are celebrating the coming of Christ.

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Placing our order was challenging — who wanted what, what drink, and what side — but we completed the task and continued to talk about the Christmas Eve play practice and volunteer activities for the next day, while we waited patiently for the person in front of us.

Soon, I pulled our truck to the first window, and the person behind the window declined to take my card. She told me that the person in front of us had paid for our order. My whole truck went silent, as we looked at the person like deer in the headlights.

“Merry Christmas, please pull to the next window,” was all that I heard.

We were all looking around to find the nice person who just paid for our $20 lunch bill, but the van had disappeared.

My 14-year-old son said that this amazing moment would be forever burned into his young brain.

(If you have a teenager, you know that these moments of burnt-in memories are few and far between, especially when you can’t get them to feed the animals daily.)

We were all astounded.

Unfortunately, we did not see who paid for us, but we wanted to thank that person for paying for our meal and most of all for sharing the Christmas spirit and for teaching my children a lesson about what Christmas is and how Jesus Christ works through all of us in ways that are not always apparent.

Thank you, and Merry Christmas. Peace and many blessings in the New Year to you and your family.