Theology in the Trenches: The nosey McDonald's worker

Kathleen Kjolhaug
Religion Columnist

We’d traveled most of the day in order to make it to the airport on time. Hunger pangs soon got the best of us and so into the nearest fast-food place we did dash.

Up to the counter I strolled to place my order. “Oatmeal and one Mocha Frappe, please.” 

The young worker simply stared. 

“What happened to your nose?” she bluntly asked.

Refreshing to say the least is what I thought. Her candidness was rather delightful.

“Well,” I politely spoke. “I had a little surgery.”

She stared. Unflinchingly she stared. Wide eyed and looking directly at my nose she continued the standoff.

Apparently we both differed on the assessment of the situation. Although it was covered with a large bandage, after watching the progress up close for the past seven days it was looking pretty spiff!

As she’d taken my order yet remained quite paralyzed, I watched her just as intently. Surely she will take a step or two in the right direction, I thought. No dice; she did not move.

It was at this juncture I felt compelled to offer a bit more information.

“Actually, there was a spot of cancer they found, and after removing it, a specialist closed up the wound. That’s why I have the larger bandage.”

Thinking this might be enough for her, I soon discovered it was not. It was at that exact moment when her finger went up to her own nose and she began stroking it. These were her exact words.

“Really? Oh my gosh! Now I feel like I have it!”

For some odd reason, the innocent nature of her transparency was rather refreshing. So refreshing was it that she made me smile as I found myself consoling her.

With a wink and a smile I stated, “No sweetheart, you do not. Just wear your sunscreen!” 

She smiled back and promptly dashed off to gather my order.

“May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable to You, oh Lord” (Psalm 19:14). 

Sometimes words don’t always match what’s in our hearts much less what’s on our minds ... but if we look closely at the one speaking, maybe we will see more deeply into the innocence of the words spoken. Perhaps there really is no mal-intent. Amen.

(Kathleen Kjolhaug is a religion columnist.)