A server at a Tennessee Waffle House had picked up an extra shift to try to get a little extra cash to go on vacation. As if having to work on her day off wasn’t already stressful, she waited on a group of men that knew why she was there, and the tip they left her made her “sick” when she saw it.
Lauren Ball was getting ready to go on vacation to Florida with her family after she had just forked over the money for her 2-year-old son’s birthday party, so she was running low on cash, reports the Kingsport Times-News. She knew she would be lucky to make $30 on a Wednesday night, but she decided to go in anyways because she desperately needed the money to travel, and the unexpected happened.
She had a table of men sitting in her section, and after cracking a few jokes with them, she went outside to smoke a cigarette while they ate. While she was out there, one of the men from the table approached her and told her that his friend was about to leave a massive tip, but Ball didn’t believe him.
As the two talked, the other man came out and showed his friend a picture of the tip he had left for Ball, and at nearly the same time, the cook came out to confirm it was real. The kind customer said it was the right amount, so Ball went inside to see what the fuss was all about, and what she saw made her “sick,” but not in a bad way – the man left her a $600 tip on a $24 bill.
“It took my breath away,” she said. “It made me sick to my stomach, but in a good way.”
After seeing the enormous gratuity, Ball went chasing after the man as tears streamed down her face. Nothing like this had ever happened to the single mother, so she wanted to know why, out of all people, the man chose to help her out that way. His response? He simply likes to do nice things for people.
Ball had spent almost all of her hard-earned money to make her son’s birthday special, so the massive tip couldn’t have come at a better time. With almost no support coming from her son’s father, she does what she can to provide for herself and her little one, and she was beyond grateful for the man’s generosity.
“I told him he was an angel,” she said.
I write about stories like this often to show others that there are still good people in the world, but also to show that if you’re thinking about doing something nice for a stranger, don’t hesitate to follow through with it. These types of things always seem to come exactly when someone needs it, as the story above shows, so it’s hard not to think that when we get the urge to go out of our way to help someone, that it’s God telling us to do so.
After all, He always gives us what we need, when we need it, and just as a struggling server may need a good tip to help her get by, maybe you might need the good feeling that comes from helping out a complete stranger. Either way, it’s always better to practice compassion and kindness rather than cynicism and rudeness, since you never know who you may be helping out.