The day I met Reginald

Mark 9:41  I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.

We were on our way to an evening meeting and had a few McDonald’s coupons that were about to expire, so we decided to take advantage of the free burgers on our way.  We turned the corner, one driveway away from our destination, when we first saw Reginald.

He was on the side of the road with a large white trash bag in one hand and a small Styrofoam cup in the other.  The white bag likely held most of, if not all of his belongings, and the cup was full of pixie sticks and had a handwritten sign that said ‘candy 10¢’.

As quickly as we saw Reginald, we passed him, unable to even consider whether we wanted to buy a candy or not.  We pulled into our parking spot and headed in to place our order for my birthday dinner.  After placing our order, the door opened and who walks in?  You guessed it, it was Reginald.  We got our food and sat down to eat, all while keeping an eye on him.  First reaction– How can we help?  But we watched and waited.  We watched as he fumbled through his pockets for the $2+tax to pay for his hamburger and drink.  Our daughter noticed he didn’t even get fries.  After filling his drink, he did not even wait to get to his seat before taking his first bite of burger.

As a family, we decided that we would buy him a gift card he could use on his next visit (or even add on to his small meal that evening).  My wife bought the card, and I walked it over to him.  I walked up and smiled as I approached, and I received one of the biggest smiles I have ever seen.  I told him we wanted to buy his next meal and gave him the card.  I introduced myself, shook his hand, and found out his name was Reginald.   From my limited observation and interaction with Reginald, it was clear he has experienced some difficult times due to some special needs.   We didn’t talk much, but he really didn’t need to say anything–his smile said it all.

When we left, I looked toward his table, and he smiled his big smile again.  He waved to me and shouted across the dining area “It was nice to meet you!”

I wish I were able to do more to help.  Often my lack of being able to fix a situation stops me from taking any action at all. I could have easily finished eating and went about my business by not doing anything.  We decided to do something, even though it was not much.  For one short period of time, we did make a difference.  I have since driven by to say hi again to my new friend, but have yet to see him.  I write this not to make myself feel better for doing something nice, but as an encouragement to you to take some time to look around.  There may be a way that you can do something to make a difference for someone else.  When was the last time you did a random act of kindness?

My question to you today is this—-what are you doing to make a difference, no matter how big or how small?  Don’t wait until you can fix everything or until you have all the answers because that time will likely never come.  What have you done to help someone?  Have you tried to bring someone a little joy and happiness?

You can do something right now.  You can make a difference.  You can make someone smile.

I’d love to hear what action you took after reading this!


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