During a meal with her daughter at a local Chick-fil-A restaurant, a mom in Madison, Alabama, stumbled upon a tender moment that instantly brought her to tears.
Brittany Calden, a photographer, visited the location with her family many times.
“As soon as we enter we are greeted by our names, it’s seriously unreal,” she told WAGA-TV of the establishment.
“They hold my baby when my hands are full and go out of their way to make us feel good. The other day we were leaving and an employee ran for the door to hug my daughter before she could leave. They don’t do what they do for recognition.”
Calden wasn’t surprised to see one of the longtime employees of the restaurant hard at work that day. Stephen Spray, or “Mr. Steve” as he is better known by customers, was busy walking the floor of the restaurant, hard at work wiping down tables.
“I have interacted with Mr. Steve quite a bit and since I’m a photographer I’m always observing interactions amongst people,” Calden told Liftable, a section of The Western Journal. “He always goes above and beyond to make you smile.”
It was at this moment that the mom noticed Mr. Steve approach another woman sitting at a table a few feet away. It wasn’t an average interaction, however.
Mr. Steve put his hand on the woman’s shoulder and began to pray for her.
Watching, Calden didn’t hesitate. She reached for her camera and snapped the photo, hoping to capture the special interaction.
“As a photographer, it was instinctual for me to document this moment,” she said. “I find myself always searching for things that move me, and this was one of those instances.”
Mr. Steve told Calden that the woman was a complete stranger to him, but the “Spirit led him to pray for her.”
“That’s not unusual,” Spray said. “I work at a place where if I’m led to pray for someone, I’m able to do that and I’ll do it right on the spot.”
“People need prayer, encouragement, and love,” he added. “That’s what we try to do here.”
“It was really special,” Calden told Liftable. “I overheard their conversation which is between them and Jesus but it ended with her being grateful. She let him know that he made her day multiple times.”
Calden praised the workers at Chick-fil-A, saying, “These employees have hearts that are led by Jesus and its evident every time we enter their restaurant.”
Seeing Mr. Steve’s act of kindness moved Calden to tears on the spot.
“Watching the interaction take place was moving and I sat in the play area with tears in my eyes trying to compose myself enough so that I could leave,” she told Liftable. “I’ve never seen someone do that before in my life and it was incredibly moving.”
And Mr. Steve’s prayer for a complete stranger did more than make that woman’s day — it also made Calden’s.
“I was looking for prayer that day and in a way I felt that I got it and so much more,” she explained to Liftable. “With all of the hate in the world, it’s nice to have people like Mr. Steve who genuinely care about people’s hearts.”
Mr. Steve, who has worked at the restaurant for nine years, wasn’t aware that Calden had taken the time to photograph his prayer. No doubt countless other such moments of his have gone unphotographed through the years, yet still serve as blessings to those he has prayed for.
According to Calden, this isn’t surprising. It’s just who Mr. Steve is, and “because of who he represents,” she said, “Christ.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.