By Angela Noel
December 1, 2016
One night, a couple of guys went to McDonald’s for dinner. Already, it was a special event.
The younger of the two went to the restroom, emerging just in time for their chicken nuggets and Big Mac to arrive. On his way back to the table, his hands still wet from washing, he noticed something.
An elderly gentleman had dropped a coin on the ground. The young man picked it up, “Here you go,” he said. “You dropped this.”
“Thank you, son.” The gentleman covered the coin with his blue-veined hand, while the young man sat down at the table where his best adult friend, Paul, waited.
Next, the man shuffled over to the table where Paul and seven-year-old Jackson sat. “Okay if I give your son something?” he asked.
“Sure.” Paul had long ago given up explaining that Jackson isn’t technically his son. Love, as you know, makes labels irrelevant.
Into his bag, Santa Claus-style, the fellow pulled out a handmade contraption.
Made of wood, scraps of utility carpet, and marble tiles, the rectangular box was a counting game. Two dice completed the gift. With eager words, the man explained the game, flipping the handwritten numbered tiles up and down with each roll. Boy and man played a round or two.
Then, the second grader, chicken nuggets forgotten, looked up at the stranger whose coin he’d found and returned. “Thank you!” he said, smiling his gap-toothed grin.
“You’re welcome.” A smile lit the old man’s eyes and lifted wrinkled, bewhiskered cheeks. Clearly, the coin had been a test with a ready-made reward. But Jackson didn’t know that. He just thought he’d done the right thing and this man was nice. Simple thing really, sharing kindness.
Guy’s nights are always fun for Paul and Jack, but this one was a little bit something more.
Your turn: Have you ever received an unexpected gift? Or given one to someone else?