A waitress at a Tennessee Waffle House was trying to get a little extra cash to go on a trip with her family. After she waited on a young male customer and his friend, they decided to offer some help, and it made her “sick to her stomach.”
Lauren Ball had just finished throwing her son a birthday party — which emptied the extra money from her bank account. The Waffle House waitress was working her regular overnight shift and desperately needed some extra money to go on a trip to Florida with her family. She knew that she would be lucky to make $30 on a Wednesday night, but that’s when something unexpected happened.
Over the course of the meal, Lauren mentioned that her father was taking her and her son, Colton White, to the beach as a present to her for graduating from National College in Bristol, Tennessee. “I was pretty bummed to think that my dad was going to have to pay for everything at the beach,” Ball said.
After cracking a few jokes with the two customers, she went outside to take a short break. 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 she didn’t believe him at the time. As the two talked, the other man came out and showed his friend a picture of the tip he had left for Lauren.
At nearly the same time, the cook came out to confirm that the amount was correct. The customer said it was the right amount, so Ball went inside to find out the cause of all the fuss. 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. It made me sick to my stomach, but in a good way,” she said. “When I saw that it said $600, I started hysterically crying. That’s like three paychecks!”
After seeing the enormous gratuity, Lauren Ball approached the generous man as tears streamed down her face. Nothing like this had ever happened to the young 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 nice people. “The fact that someone would do something so nice for me, it’s just the craziest thing to me,” Lauren said.
Lauren 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, who was unemployed at the time, she does what she can to provide for herself and her little one, and she was beyond grateful for the man’s generosity. “I cried and told him he was an angel, and he would never know how much that meant to me,” 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. When we get the urge to go out of our way to help someone, 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 waitress 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. It’s always better to practice compassion and kindness rather than cynicism and rudeness since you never know who you may be helping out.