I often think about the food industry and in general, those who labor for what seems like pennies and nickels. It’s unfortunate that those who work really hard sometimes do not reap the benefit. I have experienced firsthand the pressures, negativity, and how physically-mentally draining the managers, the customers and co-workers can be on me, in the food business.
Last night, my friend and I ate out at an Irish restaurant. The bill totaled to $27, but knowing how hard difficult waitressing is, I decided on giving a $10 (I’m not so sure this is something that I would consider doing when I was in high school). Was I making the right decision by giving over 30% in tips? My friend said, “It’s up to you.” At the table, I was contemplating whether or not to take back a few dollars– an internal battle was waged. I decided not to give in to my selfish thoughts. I felt good leaving a generous tip. As Christians, we should be giving generously and blessing others with what we have. I do not give generously because I expect God will bless my gifts, but because I believe that as a Christian, I need to follow-up my faith with radical action.
But today, something incredible happened…
At this Italian marketplace I have been working at for the past 3 months, I have been extremely blessed to have made as much money as I have been. The tips from people are generous and the hourly wage is the best I have ever made.
The daughter of the owner was getting to leave for her other job at 5:30 (store closes at 6). As she was doing so, she made a comment about how one of the customers had not picked up her catering order. She said that she would text the woman and let her know that her food was there.
At 5:50, the store’s phone rang. I picked up and realized I was speaking to the lady who had not yet picked up her order. She had a mix of sobs and attempts of composure all in one tone. She had apologized and said that something had come up and she would not be able to pick up her order before the store closed. She continued to ask if I could put it outside in a plastic bag to keep it from getting wet. *It was POURING rain outside* I thought I misheard her and repeated back what I thought was a mistake. Immediately I told her that I could deliver it to her. She seemed to refuse at first and put my feelings ahead of hers. “Is it out of the way for you? Are you sure? If you deliver, I would give you a very good tip. Oh my gosh thank you. There was a sudden death and I was not able to pick up the food.” I was shocked. I had not thought twice when I said I would be able to deliver– this was such a simple task for me to do and to me, it was no big deal.
I prayed to God for safety as I drove in buckets of rain on the highway and local roads. As I was driving over, I committed in my mind that I would not accept any tips. I would not take advantage what she had told me on the phone… that she would “take care of me” and “give me a very good tip,” especially since someone had suddenly died.
I pulled up into a parking spot and walked over to her door with two bags of food and an umbrella. When she had come to the door, she was extremely appreciative, took the food and forcefully shoved a $100 bill into my hand. I told her that I could not accept it, but her response was, “you have to” and thanked me again.
I walked away absolutely stunned.
Initially I felt guilty and terrible for taking the money, but recognized that she had already planned on giving this to me. She probably knew what my reaction would be, which is why she had shoved the money into my hand. She had committed to being considerate to me. I was totally not expecting THAT much money…
I can’t help think that this was all God.
I think about the verses of Him blessing ten-fold. In the bible, God promises that if we give generously to God, in faith, with a pure heart, then God will give back to us.
One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly but comes to poverty.
I had freely given $10 to the waitress (not because she did a particularly outstanding job, but because I wanted to), and the next day, I had received exactly 10x that amount. I feel extremely blessed and amazed at this miracle.
Thank You Jesus for your bountiful blessings.