Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Manna from Poison, or My Relationship With Arby's

In 2005, I found myself one night in possession of an Arby's Market Fresh Chicken Salad Wrap for dinner. Now, mind you, I freaking NEVER eat fast food, but this was a really hurried situation, and I was like "Market Fresh? That hardly counts."

I take one bite and think to myself "this tastes weird." I take a second bite, and before swallowing turn to my company with a horrified look, dispose of the bite in my napkin and exclaim "this sandwich tastes like effing DEGREASER."

We both examine more closely, and the sandwich CATEGORICALLY has some heavy duty cleaning chemical in it. We're talking undiluted. And sure enough, within ten minutes my neck and chest are turning red and my throat is swelling shut.

So, I do what any sane poison victim would do - I get the manager on duty to sign a document vouching that the establishment has indeed fed me a sandwich with some foreign and foul substance in it. Then off to the clinic.

The Doc says, "Dang man, you're getting chemical burns all through your digestive track." They flush me out and send me on my way, but I spend the next THREE MONTHS in and out of the hospital with gastrointestinal issues, esophagitis, and some residual general gunk-in-the-system situation. We were trying all kinds of meds which were only aggravating the problem. So, I finally said enough's enough, threw out the meds, quit seeing the doctor, and did a thorough system cleanse. Just raw fruits and veggies for a few weeks and some other stuff to speed up the process. I was already feeling better within DAYS. Holla. Looyah. And as I reintroduced regular foods to my diet, I had the opportunity to really examine my diet and how different foods affect me.

The situation revolutionized the way I look at food, and I'm so much healthier as a result.  I refer often to the scenario as the strangest blessing of my life, as it has allowed me to know specifically how my body processes all kinds of foods, specifically.  I'm no longer at the mercy of what I eat, clueless concerning the reasons I feel the way I feel.  My tastes and cravings now constantly change to match the specific needs of my body.  It's liberating.  

Meanwhile, as this process is unfolding, I hired an attorney who, long story short, went around and around in circles with Arby's corporate before finally presenting me with a final settlement offer of $800 - only enough to offset about 1/3 of my accrued medical bills. I kind of told them to hose off, since I didn't even know how I'd be affected long-term and didn't want to absolve them.

Eventually, after realizing I was happy and healthy again, I decided to drop it altogether, thinking that even bitterness was a result that I was unwilling to tolerate, like the last lingering poison in my system.

Okay, now fast forward to a year ago when the story gets REALLY crazy. So I've made it to India and I'm working my tail off trying to spread a bit of love and gospel around the globe. I've dropped just a bit more coin on the whole excursion than I actually have. I've never really believed in money anyway, so no biggie, right? I decide to give my birthday away on Facebook causes to the school I was working with in Jaipur. My lovely friends and family came through and totally paid for their new building addition so the school can double in size. And the SAME WEEK, a mystery donation came in to my journey in the EXACT AMOUNT of my remaining deficit. Cool how G works, right? But there's MORE.

After some sleuthing, it turns out that the donor was an old acquaintance of my Pops, who had just happened across my page and felt compelled to contribute. It turns out the money she donated came largely her husband's job, at none other than ARBY'S CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS.

Someone wise remarked "I am constantly reminded of how incredible God's workings are intertwined in the several random, yet meticulous details of our lives."

Romans 8:28
"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."

So good. I've been meaning to blog this for a year.

1 comment:

  1. What a great story (well, the ending at least, the months in the hospital prob. not so much).

    Did you know that something like that happened in the Bible too? Lydia, one of Jesus' disciples, was in the purple dye industry, which was most-likely funded by Herod. So, in a round-about way, Herod was funding Jesus' ministry through Lydia's support. God was, is, and will be the same!