Story by Mary Nella McLaughlin
16 year old Marrissa and I went out for ice cream after the service. We had just heard a challenging message on meals that count. A meal that counts is when you invite someone to eat with you that you don’t know or have as a guest someone who needs a meal and friendship.
We were mulling this over as we drove to 31 Flavors. We passed a young man standing by himself in front of the door. Marrissa nudged me, “Ask him if he wants ice cream or otherwise our time at 31 Flavors won’t count.” I cringed but knew she was right.
“Can we buy you an ice cream cone?”
“My friend and I would like to buy you an ice cream cone.”
“Your invitation is so random I am going to say ‘yes.'”
We had a wonderful conversation while we waited for our ice cream. He was new to town and was glad to meet someone and share why he chose to move his family here. He had hoped for just such encounters of friendliness and community spirit.
I turned to look for Marrissa and saw her outside talking to an old man digging through the garbage. She soon brought him in to the ice cream store, announcing that she had her own money and she had found someone to ‘come to the table’ with her.
The four of us sat outside eating our ice cream together and talking for the next hour.
Some ‘meals’ you never forget. That will be one of them.