Recently, I ran into an old friend. Brandon is not very old in years, twenty tops, but I have known him for about three and a half years. We first met at a fast food restaurant, a small drive-thru-only burger and fry joint. He was working to earn enough money for rent and, unfortunately, his liking for assorted drugs and alcohol. Brandon and I instantly developed a great rapport and, when I would arrive at his window for my daily infusion of iced tea, we would have accelerated conversations about his most recent run in with the law or how he had to move in with his mom because he got evicted from his apartment. In turn, he asked about my life. I would share about the stress of being a full-time student, wife, and mom as well as my passion for writing and training leaders. Our friendship was framed in that fast food window because we never saw one another any other place. Then one day, Brandon was gone. His co-workers said he had gotten into some trouble and was in the local penitentiary doing time. He never returned to work. One day, about a year later, I was visiting a single mom (a former employee at the same fast food restaurant) and Brandon showed up. He had just been released from jail that day. He caught me up on the last year of his life and voiced his desire to stay clean and not be imprisoned again. He asked if I was still stopping by to get my iced tea every day. I honestly told him that when he and the other workers I had befriended quit working there, I started getting my iced tea at school. Yet, I was still involved in the lives of some of those people, mostly single moms. He looked at me for a long time then asked thoughtfully, "So, it wasn't about the iced tea?" All I had to say was, "No, Brandon, it wasn't about the iced tea."
This month, perform a fast food blitz with your small group. As a group, decide on a local fast food restaurant that can be visited by one or more of your group members daily for at least thirty days. Discuss different practical ways that God's love can be shown to the workers during your blitz. Some examples are:
- Be polite.
- Find out the worker's name and use it when speaking to him or her throughout the month.
- If time allows, ask the worker questions about their life, and listen to their response.
- Round your total up, and let them keep the change.
- Go through the drive-thru and give the crew a dozen doughnuts to share.
- If a special event (a worker's birthday, anniversary, graduation, birth, etc.) or a holiday occurs during this month, offer them a card or small token of celebration.
- If a tragedy (death in the family, injury, divorce, etc.) happens in the life of one or more of the workers, again offer a card and then ask if you can pray for them.
Throughout the month, pray for the restaurant workers daily and at your weekly meetings. Once the blitz is over, challenge those in your group to continue visiting the restaurant and building the relationships that have begun. Invite, to your group, those workers with whom someone in the group has made a connection.