I took the boys to ChickFilA yesterday to celebrate early dismissal from school, and I’ve decided I have to stop going there because something always happens that makes me cry.

She was dressed in a beautiful vibrant green maternity top with rosettes around the neckline.  He was wearing glasses and a striped polo shirt and pressed pants.  As they slid into the booth, I noticed that she seemed on the verge of tears.  He was sitting opposite her and as he looked at her face, he scrunched his little nose and asked, “What’s wrong, Momma?”

Her voice trembled as she sadly explained, “Your shirt, honey.  The little boy you were playing with had a pen in his hand and he got ink on your nice shirt.  And we drove all the way to Raleigh to get pictures made, and your daddy took off work to be with us, and now your shirt is messed up.  I don’t know if I’m going to be able to get the ink out now, and it was my favorite one that you have, and…”  Her voice trailed away and she put her hands to her face in a vain effort to hold back the tears that were already making their way down her cheeks.

Are you there?

The day the final insignificant straw carries a spirit-crushing weight?

I could tell that it wasn’t about the shirt.  There were burdens in her life that went way beyond an ink stain that could be photoshopped out of the final portrait.  My heart broke, not only for her, but also for my dear friends who bear up under loads that grow heavier each day.  My first instinct is to try to shoulder the load with them, but sometimes the narrow trail on their journey means there’s not enough room for two.

How do I help?

I saw that little freckle-faced boy lean across the table, pucker his lips, and softly kiss her hands as they covered her face.

“I love you, Momma.”


Offered in response to pain.

Oh, dear hurting friend, do you know you are loved?



Sometimes, love is all we’ve got to give.

Sometimes, it’s enough.

Have a nice day.


21 responses to “Chick-Fil-A

  1. Girl, your ability to write after eating at The Chick is amazing….I might have to go eat there today to get some inspiration.

    As soon as I can stop being misty…

  2. Anything titled Chick-fil-a is good in my book. This is certainly no exception!~ I love this post – and thanks for sharing, I needed it this morning!

  3. Yes, beautiful, indeed.

  4. They need tissues right next to the salt and pepper shakers at every table…love the line “There were burdens in her life that went way beyond an ink stain that could be photoshopped out of the final portrait.” Girl – you do know you’re an author, right?

  5. Thank you.

    Just said a prayer for that woman.

  6. Oh…so sweet.

    A few weeks ago, my 9 y/o son was completing a Language Arts assignment (we homeschool) and he was to write a prayer request that he might have. Here are his words: “I pray my mom can get energy so we can do fun things.” I’ve been battling an extreme lack of energy – it’s hard to do anything beyond the necessary…and even that has been put aside so often. I’ve been exercising regularly and things are beginning to look up (a bit) but to know that this issue was at the forefront of his mind…he wants his Mom to play with him. It was enough to send me over the edge – oh how I love him! *smiles* (and tears 🙂

  7. Yes, you need to stop going there, because every time you eat there, *I* cry.

  8. You are only allowed to go to Chick-Fil-A if you purchase stock in Kleenex (Kimberly Clark) for the rest of us, okay?

    Beautiful words, Sus.

  9. Yes, Chick Fil A does make all your readers cry.
    We have family portraits on Saturday and I’ve been stressing out over the clothes – so I can relate to that mom. My little boy says, “Mama, I love you” whenever I get upset too – fixes me right up every time.

  10. That’s a heart sigh with a tear kind of post. Thanks for that.

  11. Can barely see the keyboard to type…

    Man. That just cuts to the quick.

  12. thank you so very much for the touching story…I really needed it.


  13. Aaw, I thought we were going to discuss my favorite fast-food restaurant and you had to go and get all sweet and philosophical on me. What a good lesson for the day.

  14. Beautiful. A reminder is all we need sometimes.

  15. I wonder if she realizes that there is now a small army praying for her situation.
    Thank you, friend.

  16. Sweet. Glad I’m not wearing mascara.

  17. You reached right in and saw her soul at that moment. I hope she felt the love you passed a long to her.

    No Chick-fil-a here in Milwaukee. I’m so sad.

  18. You are amazing and I feel blessed to call you friend.

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