Bojangles out of chicken… WHAT!? It’s like Starbucks with no coffee… it just doesn’t happen! Except it did one Sunday afternoon on my way home from church.
If you’ve never had Bojangles chicken, I’m sorry. But you’re missing out. It’s a Southern staple; crispy chicken, hot fixin’s and sweet, sweet–dare I say it again– sweet tea.
With the Panther’s game starting in a half-hour, I pulled into the parking lot with the line wrapped around the building. Silently I prayed it wouldn’t take long.
Finally, my turn to place an order, “8 Piece Tailgate special, please with mac-n-cheese, green beans and sweet tea.”
“Yes, ma’am. Please drive around.”
Eventually, I made it to the window and the lady greeted me with the friendliest of smiles. What she said next though made my mouth drop.
“Ma’am, I sorry. But we just ran out of chicken.”
My eyes flashed wide as I thought maybe I heard her wrong. “You’re kidding. This is a joke, right?”
“No ma’am. I’m afraid we just sold our last piece of chicken to the car in front of you.”
Dropping my head in disbelieve, I asked, “You mean you’re completely out of chicken?”
“Yes, ma’am. But if you give us twenty minutes, I’ll bring your order to you.”
The clock on the dashboard flashed 1:25 pm. The Panthers kicked off in five minutes.
I must’ve looked furious because the lady replied, “Ma’am what can I do to make your wait more tolerable? Can I give you extra sweet tea or how about more biscuits?”
The smile on her face and the twinkle in her doe brown eyes were more than I could handle. How could I be upset with such a loving face?
“Throw in a few more chicken legs and you have a deal,” I replied.
I moved my car to an empty parking space and turned up the Panthers radio station to listen to the game. Hopefully, I’d only miss watching the first quarter.
Thirty minutes later, I still didn’t have my order and decided to check on it.
As I entered the lobby, angry faces swarmed around me, and I apologetically moved to the front of the line hoping to find the employee from earlier.
Suddenly I heard, “Oh, ma’am, I was fixin’ to bringing this out to you.”
I turned to see her round smiling face. “It’s okay. I can see you’re busy.” And I reached out and she handed me the bag.
“I’m truly sorry for your wait. As promised, extra chicken, biscuits and sweet tea are in there. Thank you for waiting patiently, and it’s been my pleasure serving you today.”
Flabbergasted, I replied, “Thank you for your kindness. I hope your day improves.”
“Oh, it’s been awesome! Unfortunately, running out of chicken caused a little hiccup but life happens,” she shrugged.
Looking at the other customers, I wouldn’t have called it a hiccup but her infectious attitude made it better. She truly enjoyed what she did, and it showed.
This experience made me think about my attitude towards work, angry people, crazy drivers– and believe me, we have a few around here– and my ministry.
What is my ministry?
It’s anything the Lord has called me to do. Whether it’s writing a book, or caring for children, or running errands for an elderly neighbor, or waiting on angry customers at Bojangles.
As Paul wrote, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24
We’re to do everything with love in our hearts and do it to serve the Lord because we know our reward comes from Him.
I’m not sure if the Bojangles employee I met necessarily thought she worked for the Lord, but the fruit of her spirit proved it’s a possibility. Calm and courteous, she showed me respect and love in an impossible situation.
Thank You, Lord, for reminding me of Your generous Spirit and that You require the same from me in all I do. Thank You for the Bojangles employee who afforded me dignity and appreciation despite my selfishness. May Your blessings and inheritance be her reward!