McDonald’s and God: Divine Appointments

During our last ATL (Ask the Lord), one of
our Jr. High girls received a vision from God about the McDonald’s
Golden Arch. She didn’t see the building, nor did she see any words,
just the Arch. We really did not think too much about it because there
was such little detail to the vision and McDonald’s really was not part
of our plan for the day.
The afternoon we headed back to Centennial Park
in Nashville for an afternoon prayer walk. We had been to this park the
previous two days for various ministry opportunities. As soon as we
stepped out of the van one of the kids shouts out, “Look! It’s a
McDonald’s!” We all looked over and saw what she was talking about.
McDonald’s had been there all week and we had not paid any attention to
it. The park pavilion, our parking spot all week, was directly behind
the McDonald’s. It was difficult to tell that it was even a fast food
restaurant. What was even more interesting was that the park sat a
little lower than the restaurant so the sign post was not visible.
Because we had parked on a street parallel to the main street the sign
was perpendicular to us so we could not see any words written on the
sign. The only thing that was visible was a single arch of the
McDonald’s “M.”
Immediately, we knew we were exactly where God wanted us
to be.
We headed towards the park to begin our prayer walk still
uncertain of God’s plans for us. As we continued, we approached a
homeless man sitting on one of the park benches. The kids asked if we
should talk to him. Our group leader told the kids that if they felt the
Lord leading them to talk to him then they should do it. The kids were
anxious, nervous, and shy, but a conversation ensued anyway. As our
group drew nearer the man yelled out, “Hey, I know you!”
He was pointing
at me. I had never seen him before. If I had seen him, I surely did not
recognize him. But, I had to speak with him, so I smiled and said, “Oh
yeah?” He smiled back and said that he had seen me at the homeless
shelter a couple days ago when we were serving food. Apparently he had
gone through the line at some point. We had served over 400 hundred guys
on Sunday night, and I could not have picked out a single person that
had passed through that line.
Anyway, we began to talk and soon he got
the kids involved. He joked around with him and before long he had all
the kids laughing. He then asked if he could have fifty cents to get a
refill on his McDonald’s drink. I told him we did not have fifty cents,
but if he would like to follow us to McDonald’s we would get him
whatever he wanted. He immediately jumped off the bench and led the way
there, all the while continuing to make the kids laugh with his jokes.

ordering the food, we stood outside and began to talk. Within five
minutes our discussion began to lead to his past experiences and very
quickly our discussion became quite serious. At that moment another
homeless gentlemen approached our group and asked if we were Christians.
I continued talking with our friend while the rest of the group
introduced themselves to their new friend. For the next half hour I was
occupied in one conversation while the rest of the group was caught up
in another. I don’t know what the others talked about, but the
conversation that I had was a total God experience.

This gentlemen
had lost his job during the Nashville flood, when his kitchen that he
supervised was completely washed out. Therefore, he had no means of
making payments. He lost everything. He had tried at so many places to
get a job but there was none to be found. he shared that he hated being
poor, he hated having to beg for food, he hated that he was not able to
shower and he hated more than anything that he was a worthless
This opened up the chance to share about God’s love for him
and that God did not view him as worthless but rather as one of his
children whom he loved very deeply. This fellow believed in God and
could even quote plenty of scripture, but he could not fathom why God
would allow something so terrible to happen to him. Above all else, he
did not understand why God had not answered any of his prayers. He had
been praying that that God would guide him in some way. And, if God
Himself would not speak to him, then at least send someone to speak to
him to give him some sense of guidance. He told me that God had not
answered any of his prayers and that he had been praying each day. I
looked at him and said, “my friend, your prayer has just been answered.”
then proceeded to tell him of the vision that one of our girls had been
given from God. I told him that we had no idea why we were here or what
God wanted from us, we were just being obedient to him. I told him that
it is very obvious that God wanted us to run into him on this day at
this very moment, and that I believed that God had sent us there to be
an answer to his prayer. His face lit up as he told me a story that was
somewhat similar. This gentlemen had not been to the park for several
days. But something inside him told him that today was a good day to go
to the park. He also told me that he does not like to heckle people
because if anyone becomes afraid or annoyed, all it takes is one call to
the cops for “harassment” and he is in jail. But, because he had seen
us a couple of days ago he figured he could talk to us. He then told me
about his last two weeks.
Two weeks ago this man had attempted to
commit suicide, but his plan had failed. Someone found him after he had
overdosed on Advil and Tylenol and had phoned the ambulance. They
arrived shortly and took him to the hospital and cared for him until he
was well enough to leave. He had planned on doing the same thing that
evening, only this time he was going to make sure that no one was
around, and that even if he was found he would make sure that there was
no way that he would be brought back to life. As tears formed in his
eyes he thanked me.
We began to talk about the story of Job and God’s
sovereignty. Even though Job had lost everything he remained faithful to
God and because God is sovereign over all things he was able to provide.
I challenged our friend after this story. I told him that God had a
plan for his life even after all that had gone wrong. If it were not
true then God would not have led us to one another, and he would have
just been another dead homeless man. But God did not want that to
I told him that this was God answering his prayer, and now it
was his turn to remain faithful and to begin to seek after whatever it
is that God was calling him to do no matter how ridiculous it may seem.
That God would probably only reveal His plan in steps and that all that
was asked of our friend was to remain faithful for each little step that
God called him to take. As long as he remained faithful, God would
continue to lead and would continue to provide for his needs.

ended our time in prayer, and then we embraced one last time.