Years ago, when I was still working, I ran into God in the most unlikely place.  My time for lunch was limited; I had three dollars in my pocket and no time to find an ATM machine.  I decided to go to Taco Tico which was near my office and purchase as much food as I could. I only had a few seconds to study the menu in the drive thru before placing my order because the lunch crowd had arrived.  Cars were lined up in front of me and behind me. Quickly, I calculated and ordered two tacos and a burrito. A woman’s voice over the loudspeaker gave me my total and I had just enough money to pay for my meal. She then asked if I wanted anything to drink and I declined knowing I did not have enough money.

I waited my turn and pulled up to the window, feeling a bit harried by the wait. It all dissipated as soon as I saw God. Please understand, I did not recognize God right away. She was disguised as a thin middle age woman with glasses and long brown hair, but the whole world stopped at that moment.  She looked at me as though I was an old friend and the only customer she had seen all day. She explained that for almost the same price I could get a combo meal which would include a drink. I confessed that I only had three dollars and if the combo meal was more than that, I would just stick with my original order.

She entered a combo meal into the computer and announced the total was $3.60. I thanked her for trying, but explained I did not have another sixty cents, so I would just take what I originally ordered. Without hesitation she asked me to wait a minute as she reached into her purse. She withdrew sixty cents and placed it in the register to pay for my combo meal. Although her name tag said “Rose,” I knew she was not working alone at the drive thru that day.

She then asked me what I wanted to drink and I ordered a Sprite. She fixed my drink and asked

“Did you know we have Country Time lemonade?”

“No,” I replied.

I was in shock because I love lemonade and it was not on the menu. She then asked if I would rather have lemonade,

“Yes, if it’s not too much trouble” I said.

She set my Sprite aside and fixed me lemonade and handed me my meal. I thanked her and drove away. I had just encountered God at the drive thru at Taco Tico and my life was forever changed.

That small gesture of kindness filled me with so much joy that day. Whatever troubled me disappeared. I felt loved and wanted to share that love with everyone I met. I was no longer in a hurry and I became a much more courteous driver on my way back to the office. My whole outlook on life changed and I still remember that feeling as if it was yesterday.

I realized every person I encounter is special and important and should be treated as if he or she may be the last human being I will ever know. Rose was able to see and honor the Divine in me and I, in turn, encountered the Divine in her. She taught me the importance of being present in each situation and with every person who crosses my path. Her kindness toward me impacted the world.

As I sat in my office enjoying my lunch and basking in the wonder of my experience, I noticed a small package in my lunch bag. As I removed it from the bottom of the bag, I realized it was a Mexican fortune cookie.  I marveled that such a thing even existed. Excited by my find, I carefully opened it and pulled out the small slip of paper carrying my fortune. After reading it, I laid it on my desk in awe of the wisdom it contained.  It said “A little here, a little there.”  I realized that’s all it takes to change the world. It’s a memory that comforts me when I am discouraged and that fortune remains one of my mantras to this day. Thank you Rose!

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