Matthew 10:42 (NASB): “And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.”
Was our waitperson at the popular, down-home barbecue restaurant the best server we’ve ever had, anywhere? I couldn’t swear to that. Our order wasn’t complicated. The restaurant wasn’t crowded. (I should hope not. It was past 8 o’clock on a weeknight.) And our party wasn’t large – just Jeff and me.
But the quick, friendly service and the simple but delicious meal that ended with a fried apple pie à la mode met an extraordinary need in us, and that somehow made the service we received feel especially valuable.
I doubt she saw anything unusual about waiting on us, about her own level of competence that evening, or about her apparent pattern of serving customers with a quiet, gentle spirit. So I wonder if our tip surprised her or made her think we were extra-nice people – and don’t be misled; it’s not as if we gave her $50 or anything close to that. It’s just that our tip was about 50%, not the customary 15-20%.
What prompted our desire to express extraordinary appreciation? It was the trying ordeal we had been through in the previous couple of hours. Our meal out, on the heels of some very difficult moments, seemed such a relief and even a reward. I’ve never ordered a hot dog with slaw at Golden Rule before, and maybe it wasn’t as amazing as what I remember having at The Varsity in Atlanta, but it tasted mighty good, and I would definitely order it again. We’ve had both peach and apple filling before in our fried pies with vanilla ice cream there, but this dessert tasted better than any previous, to me. I didn’t ask Jeff how his chopped pork sandwich was (because, when I thought about that, he was on the phone again, dealing with more of our pressing “stuff”). But, we seemed to be on the same wavelength about the tip. While he took care of personal business, I was reaching into my wallet for some extra cash to add on, and – out of character for us – I was the one who took a debit card and the check over to the register.
There’s a song called Little is Much When God is in It.* That title sums up my feelings about this experience. We don’t know how God may multiply the “ordinary” service we offer to another person. We may never know why or when our simple, consistent acts of kindness make an extraordinary impression at someone’s time of great need or vulnerability.
*by Kittie L. Suffield. Source