A “Slice” of Kindness…

Most of us love pizza. I know that we do and, for the last 20 years or so, we have ordered our weekly Friday night pizza from a little place named “Some Guys” that is five or six minutes from our home. Our order is always the same – a sausage and mushroom pizza with a dinner salad to go. That is, we ordered from Some Guys each week until they closed several months ago when they were not offered an extension on their lease.

The shopping center where they were located was recently sold and the new owners have other plans in mind for the space that Some Guys has had for more than 20 years. That just leaves them with their original shop located about 30 minutes from us – a location that isn’t nearly convenient for our Friday night pizza run. But the phone was ringing off the hook with orders for carry out and dine in dinners.

That is, orders were pouring in until the conveyer belt for the pizza oven broke and the place had to shut down until a repairman could come out. Well, parts were overnighted from Chicago but the fix didn’t work and that was the beginning of a ten day shutdown. A competitor, Puccini’s Pizza, sent their staff repairman over and the verdict was the same – the conveyor was toast. Some Guys needed a new pizza oven – and with the delays due to COVID, it would be at least twelve weeks to get another unit shipped to them.

All was lost and Some Guys was getting ready to shut down – for good. They had already sold their extra equipment from the closed location near us. Then, the owner of Puccini’s remembered that several years ago they had tried to expand into the Louisville market – a move that didn’t turn out so well. They closed the store and shipped the equipment back to Indianapolis where they have ten stores. Who knows when a chain of that size may need a replacement for equipment that might fail…

To cut to the end of the story, the owner of Puccini’s offered the oven to Some Guys until the new one can be delivered sometime around the first of the year. Several days ago, it was installed and Some Guys is back up and running – with the aid of their fierce competitor!

The owner of Some Guys publicly thanked Puccini’s in an open letter to the community and went so far as to say that they wouldn’t have survived without the help of Puccini’s. He also said that every pizza that went out of their shop should carry the name “Some Guys/Puccini’s” – because it was a joint effort that saved the store.

I couldn’t help but be impressed by the act of kindness that Puccini’s exhibited. Furthermore, they¬† never said a word about it to anyone. The community would never have known what had transpired if the owner of Some Guys hadn’t decided to send that open letter to the community and publicly thank Puccini’s for their supreme act of kindness. We were so impressed that this past Friday, we ordered our dinner from a Puccini’s location near us.

As I picked up our order, I thanked the store manager for Puccini’s kindness toward Some Guys. The manager didn’t even know about what had happened. The owner of the chain had not let his own managers know about what they had done to help their competitor. How humble and Christlike this whole thing was. I was even more impressed than before.

Our verse for tonight is from the New Testament letter to the Hebrews. The author of this letter, whose identity is in dispute, tells us, in¬†Hebrews 13:16, “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”

Without question, Puccini’s followed this verse to the letter. They were more concerned with doing good than they were with making a profit. They could have let Some Guys fail and then just take over their location. But that’s not what happened. Instead, both companies have an ally in the other – and in this time of rebellion and extreme divisiveness, we have seen an example of what helping one another can do.

My encouragement tonight is that exhibiting kindness is always the right thing to do. My prayer is that we will look for ways to show Christlike behavior – just like Puccini’s did this week. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…

 
 
 
 

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