The Lemonade Incident
It was a typical trip through the McDonald’s drive-thru. My granddaughter had her order figured out—the McNuggets Happy Meal. As I repeat it back to her, I stated, “And milk with that.”
“No. I want a frozen strawberry lemonade.”
“But you don’t even like lemonade,” I objected. “It’s tart. You won’t like it,”
“I want a frozen strawberry lemonade. Not milk.” The voice from the backseat was emphatic. After a couple more attempts to dissuade her, each rebuffed, I ordered the frozen strawberry lemonade for her. All the while, I wondered where this idea had originated. My picky eater will seldom try new things and then not willingly. Unusual.
Once we were home and she had her food in front of her, I observed some tentative sips of the lemonade. “Good!” she declared. But she didn’t seem to be drinking it very quickly. The McNuggets and fries disappeared in short order, but the lemonade began to melt as it was left sitting. I eventually put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.
That evening, when mom and dad came to pick her up, I gathered up her things and retrieved the lemonade from the refrigerator. Handing the cup over I commented, “I don’t know why she wanted to order the frozen lemonade.” It was no mystery to her dad. “She wants to do everything you do.” I should have remembered those other drive-thru trips on hot days when I would order myself a frozen strawberry lemonade and comment how refreshing it was. Someone was watching from the backseat.
Those words “she wants to do everything you do” have stayed with me. Inside I knew she watched my actions, but it wasn’t something I thought about that much—until the lemonade incident. I remembered the time she noticed that my Bible had a ribbon bookmark and inquired about it. On the next visit she looked at the Bible and wanted to know if I’d read more. Had the bookmark moved? How glad I was that I could truthfully say, “Yes, I’ve read more in my Bible. I read it every day.”
Most of us go through life unaware of who is watching our actions. It may be a child or grandchild, but it may just as easily be a coworker, a neighbor, or even a stranger. A friend recently told me of an incident when a business transaction became very stressful because of an employee’s mistake. Although the mistake caused inconvenience and extra work, she dealt with it in a calm manner and did not display anger. Afterwards, a stranger who had observed the incident walked up and said, “I just want you to know that I think you handled that like a true Christian.” She didn’t know someone was watching.
I want the lemonade lesson to stay with me a long time. I hope that “she wants to do everything you do” also means she wants to give her heart to the Lord when she reaches an accountable age. I hope it means she will see the importance of serving Him and putting Him first in her life. I don’t just want her to drink lemonade—I want her to drink from the same refreshing water of the Spirit that I have enjoyed.