It’s not all that unusual in the Christian faith to express sympathy and compassion by preparing a country ham or a batch of biscuits or a peach cobbler.
It’s how we show folks that we care – we feed them.
Honestly, I think we do a better job communicating love with a sweet potato pie than we do with words.
Or if you are Chick-fil-A you communicate love through a chicken sandwich.
And that brings me to a heartwarming story that has emerged from the aftermath of the Islamist terrorist attack in Orlando.
Now, I should tell you that the folks over at Chick-fil-A are going to be mighty upset with me. They did not want me to tell you what I’m about to tell you.
But it’s a story you really need to hear. It’s a story we all need to hear – a chicken sandwich for the soul kind of story.
Normally Chick-fil-A is closed on Sunday so workers can go to church or spend time with their families or just sit on the front porch in a rocking chair and wave to passersby.
So when I received word through some of our readers that several Chick-fil-A restaurants in Orlando had opened their doors on Sunday – I was a bit intrigued.
Hours after the gunman had massacred 49 people and wounded dozens more in the Pulse nightclub, the community sprang into action.
One of the most inspiring photographs showed hundreds and hundreds of people waiting in long lines – for hours to donate blood.
Team members at two nearby Chick-fil-A restaurants figured those folks must be getting hungry. So somebody flipped on the lights and they started frying chicken.
Before long they were serving sandwiches and nuggets and sweet tea to all the folks waiting to donate blood – along with a host of law enforcement personnel.
“We love our city and love the people in our community,” a team member wrote on the restaurant’s Facebook page.
The following day many of their restaurants provided free chicken biscuits and orange juice to firefighters and police officers and first responders.
“We are appalled by the senseless crime that was committed this weekend, but we are part of a community that stands strong and stands together,” they wrote on Facebook.
So why is Chick-fil-A so generous?
It’s because Chick-fil-A’s number one priority is not to make a profit (which they do.) And it’s not to make the best chicken sandwich in the world (which they do).
Their number one corporate priority is to “glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”
Chick-fil-A declined to comment on their activities in Orlando.
“We are just honored to be one of many organizations that are helping our friends and neighbors in the Orlando community during this difficult time,” a spokesperson for their central Florida stores told me.
Now, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the giant egg in the room.
Back in 2012, Chick-fil-A was targeted by leftwing bullies – after CEO Dan Cathy made comments supporting traditional marriage.
They were accused of making “hate chicken.” They were accused of being anti-gay. And they were castigated by the mainstream media.
In May a New York City councilman objected to the Southern restaurant chain opening a store in Queens.
Mayor Bill de Blasio urged New Yorkers to boycott Chick-fil-A and Councilman Daniel Dromm accused them of spreading a “message of hate.”
I suspect if you asked folks around Orlando would strongly disagree with that sentiment.
If you asked them, I bet they would tell you that Chick-fil-A doesn’t just serve chicken, they serve a community.
As we say back home in Tennessee – those folks at Chick-fil-A – they’re good people.