"The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'" Matthew 25:40
What started out as a typical Chick-fil-a date for a Tennessee man and his little daughter turned into a heartwarming lesson in kindness and compassion thanks to the Christ-like actions of the restaurant's manager.
According to a customer who posted the story to Facebook, a homeless man walked into the Chick-fil-A and asked if they had any extra food. Instead of turning him away, the manager of the restaurant gave the man a free meal and offered to pray with him.
"[I] took Stella to Chick-fil-A today. It's our normal daddy/daughter spot," wrote Joey Mustain. "She wanted to sit at a table to eat the cone (something we usually do in the truck), and I'm so glad she did. We took a booth right next to the spot where you wait for your drink to be 'refreshed,' and we had a front row seat to this beautiful scene: a homeless traveler had walked in and asked if they had any extra food."
Mustain noted that most people in the restaurant kept their distance from the because of the man's dishevelled appearance: "Mud was wet and caked on his well-traveled shoes," he wrote. "His hair was matted, and his beard wasn't a statement as much as it was a necessity and a sign that he doesn't get to shave as often as most of us do."
However, the reactions around him didn't stop the man from being kind: "He spoke to people who reluctantly spoke back, and he smiled while he waited on a manager," Mustain recalled. "All I could pick up on of the conversation was the manager saying that he'd love to give him a full, warm meal--not just scraps or extras--, and the only thing he required was that the man let him pray with him."
After the homeless man agreed, the manager paused his busy workday, laid his hand on the man, and proceeded to pray.
"I heard love in that prayer," Mustain wrote. "The homeless man wasn't some untouchable stain on business. He was the reason that store opened its doors this morning (or any morning). I asked Stella to watch and she stared. She asked what was happening and when I told her, she bowed her head, too."
In concluding his post, Mustain praised Chick-fil-A employees for truly using the business to minister instead of simply gaining a profit.
"In a time when companies are trying to win in the market by neutralizing any possibility of offense, CFA is thriving because they unwaveringly cling to their principles and purpose," he wrote. "I love teaching my daughter life lessons, and I also love being there to watch other Christians teach her life lessons. Thank you, Chick-fil-A, for taking care of the latter today."
As of Wednesday morning, Mustain's post had been liked over 300,000 times and shared another 89, 104 times, with many offering prayers for the homeless man and the restaurant manager.
"How awesome!!! Our God is an awesome God and so are those of us who serve him!!!" wrote one commenter.
"My tears are flowing and with a smile in my heart. I love hearing that there is such compassion still left and this makes me even prouder of CFA. This is what we need more of in this world.." wrote another.
Chick-Fil-A was founded by the late billionaire S. Truett Cathy, who, due to his Christian faith, used a significant portion of the company's revenue for positive causes.
"I'd like to be remembered as one who kept my priorities in the right order. We live in a changing world, but we need to be reminded that the important things have not changed," said Cathy, according to company statement.
"I have always encouraged my restaurant operators and team members to give back to the local community. We should be about more than just selling chicken, we should be a part of our customers' lives and the communities in which we serve."