Part of this post is difficult for me to even write out. For those of you who know me well, I’ve never been a fan of McDonald’s. It isn’t because I’m super health conscious (I eat out at plenty of other fast food places), it’s just that I’ve never liked the taste of their food. Or the way you feel afterward.
But that’s all changed.
I’ve found that I’m slightly in love with their Sausage McMuffin with Egg.
I still don’t like eating their other food. But these sandwiches are an amazing way to start your day. As a result, my wife and I have made a few trips to McDonald’s during mornings the last few weeks. Even though McDonald’s has their food service down to a science, they haven’t impressed me with their customer service.
With the exception of one guy named Ralph.
I’d guess Ralph is in his early 70’s. He works the first window where you pay. And this guy is friendly. I mean the sort of friendly where you think he’s totally turning it on only to realize that it’s genuine. Then you are blown away by it. Then you realize you want to have a conversation with him. Then you realize you are at the first window of a McDonald’s. This guy is so remarkably unusual that even my four year old Gavin, sitting in one of the very back seats of our minivan, notices when he’s not there.
Recently Michelle and I stopped in for breakfast together. Since we had a sitter that morning we decided to eat our breakfast inside. And who should be sitting inside taking a break but Ralph himself. My wife, ever the quiet and shy one, immediately decided we should sit by him and strike up a conversation. That’s when we realized how deep Ralph’s positive attitude goes.
He told us the story of his life. His two marriages, his move from Indiana, his search for a job after he was personally hit from the recession. And then he told us about his love for Jesus Christ. For a moment, this caught me by surprise.Â I was surprised because although this is the way it should be, this isn’t often the way it is. It was almost like I was inventing this conversation to play out the way I wish in a perfect world. In the real world, Christians are often known for attacking other believers, protesting against organizations, and loads of judgement toward everybody.
We need more Ralphs.
A strong believer in Christ, with a liftetime of experiences, hurts, and joys, finding ways to bring light to others each and every day. Through a McDonald’s drive through window. We tried our best to explain to Ralph how much we appreciated him and what a joy his personality was to others. At the end of our brief conversation, Ralph cheerfully told us that we had blessed his day. I knew it was the other way around.
So if you find yourself looking for breakfast at Val Vista and Guadalupe in Gilbert, Arizona, tell Ralph I said hi. And consider how amazing you feel after just a brief interaction with him. May he be an example for us all.