When I got to the restaurant, I walked up to the counter and scanned the menu on the wall before placing my order. As I did, I slipped my left hand into my pants pocket and discovered that it was empty. (I expected at least a handkerchief and credit card case.) I suddenly remembered that I had put on a clean pair of pants; I had spilled part of my lunch on the pants I wore yesterday. Sure enough, I was missing my wallet, too. I had, however, made sure I had some change in my right pocket, including a couple of dollar coins.
By this time, I had already been asked what I wanted to order, and, with much embarrassment, I explained my situation. I suggested that I would scale down my order and do take-out. (I thought I had enough change to afford a burrito, though not the burrito meal and not the coffee.) The woman behind the counter said that was OK; she would add to whatever I had to make up the cost of what I wanted to order. I offered to come back later with the money, but she insisted that that wasn’t necessary. So I ordered my burrito meal and coffee. I surrendered every penny in my pocket; I was about two dollars short. Because the burrito was not yet ready, I was given my coffee and told to sit down; the woman who took my order soon came to my table carrying my breakfast on a tray. This made me feel slightly more guilty than I did already.
Chick-fil-A has a reputation as a Christian company, and it is notable for keeping its restaurants closed on Sundays. It is sometimes hard to miss this association, whether for the occasional promotion involving Veggie Tales or the pervasive Christian elevator music played in Chick-fil-A restaurants. The “Christian” thing generally makes me uncomfortable, since “Christian” has mostly come to refer to right-wing, intolerant Evangelicalism in the U.S. I honestly do not know much of what “Christian” really means for Chick-fil-A, but I have to admit that I was treated with genuine Christian—no quotation marks—charity this morning. I think I’ll just cherish that and not try to second-guess it.