‘Do you mind if I sit with you?’ How stranger’s small gesture for ‘disheveled, dirty man’ at Taco Bell taught them both a lesson

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“Caden and I were sitting in Taco Bell tonight having a small snack before heading home. While eating, I noticed a man walk in, the same disheveled, dirty man that was sitting outside on the sidewalk when we entered Taco Bell. He would not make eye contact with the girl when he ordered his food and kept his face down towards the floor. His body looked tired and his spirit looked broken. Speaking in a timid voice, he ordered a single item from the $1 menu. After he received his food, selected a table that was away from everyone else in the restaurant. He placed his small pack that contained all of his belongings on the back of a chair and sat to eat his meager meal.

‘Do you mind if I sit with you?,’ I asked. Without looking up, he shook his head no. After a few moments of conversation, when he realized that I was not there with a self-serving agenda, his empty eyes finally looked into mine as he began to tell me his life history. This man’s name is Mark and tonight he was my friend for dinner. Yes, we sat in Taco Bell for what seemed like 5 minutes but in reality, I think it was nearly two hours of talking, laughing, crying, and enjoying every second of life.

Yes, he has a messy life. I have a messy life too. We all do! It would have been easy to ignore Mark.

It would have been easy to scoff at him or look down on him because his problems are more noticeable than ours.

The thing is, if our messy lives don’t define us in the eyes of the Lord, then why should Mark’s messy life define who he is to me? All I had to do was love him without prejudice or conditions. Seriously, it really is that simple. Just love! Unconditional love is empowering! It is freeing! It changes people! Just love them!

Although very few people know this, there have been many other ‘Marks’ that I’ve sat with and talked to and I know there will be many more.

I don’t say this to be boastful so please don’t take it that way. However, I do say all of this so that you realize that you too can make a difference. Be bold with your love!”

Jonathan McCall

This story was written by Jonathan McCall of  Tennessee. To submit your story, click here. For our best love stories, subscribe to our free email newsletter here.

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