It’s Friday evening. The typical work week has come to a close. Couples collect a few hours in their account of together time. Families wander about town dining out, shopping, going to the cinema or perhaps meeting up with other like-minded families.
A young married couple with a young daughter linger outside the restaurant along the walkway, extending their time of fellowship with another young married couple with two young daughters. The two men stand beside their wives and chat to each other with hands in the pockets of their sharply pressed and creased khakis, the collars of their colorful polo shirts lying just so allowing the ribbed collar of their white pristine undershirt to show through. The two women are fashion plates of the moment. Hair is carefully tinted, arranged and held in place. The outfits are bright and perfectly coordinated. the accessories are bright with the subtly overt display of bling, inclusive of the sandals on their feet. All things make the most of their sun-kissed glow and the professional French manicure on their fingers and their toes.
The three children play along the porch of the restaurant. Two are in dresses, but all three are climbing and jumping typical of three boys than girls. The youngest one pauses and pulls away from the other two and follows after a woman who just exited the restaurant. The woman finally turns to greet this little girl after she hears, “Hey, hey!” immediately behind her at a higher level with each repetition. The little girl smiles her snaggle-toothed smile and then she turns very shy. She’s beginning to lose her nerve but her curiosity holds her still. The woman caught her attention as she walked out of the restaurant because the woman was walking with a cane, yet the woman was her size, relatively speaking. She responds to each question the woman asks her, revealing that she had a hamburger and fries and that this restaurant was her favorite.
Suddenly, the child sprints back to her two friends. The woman, thinking that the child’s curiosity is satisfied, continues on toward her car. But alas, the little girl returns behind her again with, “Hey, hey!” The woman turns back to the little girl, but this time the little girl brought her two friends with her. All three share with the woman their names and what they had for dinner. The chatter among the parents grows silent as the activity of the children has suddenly gained their notice. The children show no sign of restlessness or boredom and do not return to playing so the woman continues to give the girls her attention. The mother intervenes gently, “The lady wants to go home now.” All three girls wave, returning to running and jumping, the parents resume the conversations, and the woman enters her car, cherishing the openness of the three little girls.
It’s Sunday afternoon. Church services have come to a close. The workers at a chicken and biscuit establishment are battling the heat and the clock to meet orders. Families wander in, men in their suits, women in their hats and little girls in pageant worthy dresses.
A young, playful couple enjoy each other as they wait for their order. They are dressed casually; one gets the impression they have not been awake terribly long. Only four tables are now occupied in the dining room. At three of the tables sit senior citizens. The elderly woman sitting alone begins to take her leave. By the amount of time it took for this elderly lady to assume standing position, enough time would have passed for most to dispose of their trash, exit the building, make it their car and drive off.
The young couple had moved to a table in the far corner with their food, the young man facing the dining room. As the elderly woman began to rise, he spoke to her across the room that he would take care of her tray and would help her to the door as well. He gave her time and space to come to the standing position. She leaned heavily on her quad cane; when she was ready to move forward, he came over to her to carry the tray and to hold the doors open. He then returned to his table and his young companion.
Truly, I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for Me.