Burger, Fries, and Mercy!

By Mark Endres

Can you count on Jesus to keep you from getting parking tickets? I count on Jesus for a lot of things, but not usually for parking tickets. But as a priest once told me, “God can do whatever He wants.”

I had a recent incident when I was making a food delivery on the University of Wisconsin campus. It was a challenging day already, and I just got a DoorDash order to pick up some food on a popular street on campus called State Street. It is full of restaurants.

The problem with State Street, however, is that it has no parking. The city eliminated all car traffic on the street years ago, except for city buses. So, State Street can keep you busy over lunch hour delivering, but you are always running the risk of a parking ticket. Moreover, the amount of parking spots close to State Street is at a minimum as well. It is very hard to find an open spot. I am actually happy to plug the meter when I can actually find a spot.

State Street is also a favorite area because it gives me the opportunity to promote the Divine Mercy Image, given to the world through St. Faustina. A block away are two 8-foot-tall poster kiosks full of local promotions of beer, sex, and rock and roll. I always try to keep one to two Divine Mercy bumper stickers with the Image of Jesus on the top for good viewing. It must work. The Images of Jesus are usually torn down every two weeks during the school year.

So I try to keep several extra in my car, to put up whenever they are torn off the kiosks. It reminds me of a quote from St. Faustina’s Diary that we are to “fight” on His behalf:

But child, you are not yet in your homeland; so go, fortified by My grace, and fight for My kingdom in human souls; fight as a king’s child would, and remember the days of your exile will pass quickly, and with them the possibility of earning merit for heaven. I expect from you, My child, a great number of souls who will glorify my mercy for all eternity. (1489)

I need “merit” more than most, at least that’s how I look at things. So, on this particular day, no parking spaces were to be had. I hoped for the best, parked in a no-parking area, and put on my flashers.

Luckily, the order was ready within a few minutes, and I started to rush back to my car. A homeless person made the comment to me as I hurried by that I was wearing “penny loafers” like Michael Jackson. I was wearing black loafers at the time. I thanked him for the comment and immediately said an indulgenced prayer for the soul of Mr. Jackson, as I like to do.

I then just happened to look up to see a Divine Mercy Image set high in the window of a local Mooyah restaurant! Mooyah is a restaurant chain known for burgers, fries, and shakes. It is very popular on campus.

I could not believe it. So, I paused for a second and felt a wonderful peace come over me. I felt that I did not need to rush back to my car. I would not be getting a parking ticket that day. Turns out I was right.

As my priest friend says, “God can grant any request He wishes.” He is God. I do not count on God every time in this type of situation, but as they say, “A picture is worth a thousands words.”

Mark Endres is a Friend of Mercy living in Madison, Wisconsin.

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