Restaurant Tokyo in the Publix plaza on Lee Vista is closed for business, I said, but they are providing free lunches for school aged children Monday through Friday. We should go…
What do you mean ‘we should go’? Those free lunches are meant for people who can’t afford to feed their kids through this craziness. We have plenty of food! reacted my Mr. Ever-Responsible, Never-Take-More-Than-Your-Share husband.
I know. But, I want to go there and show support, both to honor their initiative and effort and give a donation. It’s not about free lunch! They are trying to do their part to serve our community and we need to do what we can to support them! They may have a donation box or something…
Our high-schooler looks up from the phone and offers the best compliment any parent can ever dream of receiving from this age group,
Big brain!, than adds, Maybe it’s going to be sushi…. Yummmmm…
Still not fully convinced but outnumbered, Mr. Responsible watches us leave. We arrive at Tokyo just as the 6 feet spaced out line that had formed started moving. We hop onto the caboose and wait our turn. The young lady wearing gloves, mask hiding her face hands us the bag. We thank her and ask for a donation box.
She shakes her head, an incredulous, No.
Please… we want to help out. We WANT to support you and what you are doing as a small business in these times.
I can be very persuasive at times but this time I sense something bigger, something far more noble and generous than few crumpled dollar bills inside my hand pushing me back. She shakes her head one more time, No, softly, quietly but firmly, immovable like a granite rock.
If you want to support us, you can do that when we reopen, she adds.
‘When’, she said, not ‘if’.
We walk away carrying the bag with free lunch in one hand and donation money in the other. Unnerved because it is more blessed to give than to receive. Undone by the grace and dignity witnessed by no one but us and God.
I know that we won’t be back tomorrow, but we will be back when it reopens, whenever that may be.