Even in the best restaurants…

The napkin goes under the table leg.

Even in the best restaurants – they still put napkins under a wobbly table.

They just use nicer napkins.

I was made aware of a wealthy family who took advantage of a couple of much lesser means. It was frustrating, because they were “legal”, but seemingly inflexible and even hurtful in their actions. 

The poorer couple was selling something to pay some unexpected expenses. In the closing documents they made a simple paperwork error in their original calculations – just a couple hundred dollars on a many thousand dollar sale – and, the wealthier couple held them to their original agreement – knowing it was an honest mistake and not the understood verbal agreement. They made sure every single penny was paid. 

It was a MAJOR loss for one couple. They needed every dime they could get. The extra money meant nothing in the grand scheme to the other couple – pocket change.

Of course, the wealthy was completely within their “rights”, but was it really the right thing to do? 

I hate when stuff like this happens. Jesus told a similar story I seem to recall. 

Shortly afterwards, Cheryl and I ate in a really nice restaurant. We were on vacation and treated ourselves to a great meal. It was one of those white tablecloth places where we had more than one waiter/waitress. You have forks you don’t – or I don’t – know how to use. 

At the table next to us sat a nice, well-dressed couple, also enjoying a romantic evening. I could tell the couple were struggling with the rocking table. It wobbled whenever they leaned on it.

What did they do?

The well-dressed man leaned over, lifted the table slightly, and stuck a folded napkin underneath the leg. Problem solved.

The two stories working together reminded me of an even greater life principle – far more important than money or wobbly tables. It’s one I hope we all remember. 

While some of us may think we are better than others – when it comes to a wobbly table – we are all the same.

My mom used to say, “Everyone puts there pants on one leg at a time.”

I say, “Everyone fixes a wobbly table with a folded napkin.” (And, sometimes with packages of sugar.) 

God says, “Don’t think you are better than you really are.” (Romans 12:3)

Have you been looking down others who have less than you? Maybe who don’t share your opinions or agree with your views? Have you judged people unfairly based on your expectations of them? 

Be honest. We can all be guilty of it at some level.

God, continue to mold us into who you want us to be – seeing others as you see them.

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6 thoughts on “Even in the best restaurants…

  1. This article goes great with an article from yesterday at Desiring God that takes a lesson learned from the mission field and applies it to Christians in general. Our witness of Christ to others involves showing others how valuable they are in allowing them to minister to us as we minister to them. In Africa our teams often accept small gifts from people who have very little to give. It lets them know they are valued. In India, it show honor to your host to accept refreshments of some kind from them when you visit people you seek to minister to. We always leave gifts as well. In Venezuela, I always let our brothers and sisters know how much we learn from their ministry as we serve side-by-side with them. They are therefore encouraged to press on with the work. Letting people know how valuable they are to you, especially in practical ways, is extremely important.

    • Thank you, Jim. I feel honored to be mentioned in a comment with a Desiring God post. Great insight you shared.
      Twitter: Ronedmondson

  2. Just observed this very thing yesterday as I stopped by a dollar market on the way home….as I entered the store, saw an older woman paying for her items with change, mostly pennies. I thought to myself immediately of my blessings (even though my own paycheck will be spread pretty thin this week). Once I got in the line to pay with my handful of items, I noticed the same woman walk back up to the register with a loaf of bread and her package of frozen bar-b-q. In fact she 'cut' the line 2 people in front of me. The clerk told her she would have to step to the back of the line (I'm not sure she was even aware of anybody else in line as she just stood there).

    I thought, ok…my own little test on people and reactions to someone that might have lesser. Neither of the 2 people, (more well to do or more comfortable-living folks in front of me) even acknowledged her. In my opinion, the gentleman should have let the older lady jump in front of him. He couldn't even look at her. The second young lady had her church tee on (something about "church at work" tee). Ok, that is like the christian bumper sticker on the back of one's car, you're putting that out there, don't flip the bird in heavy traffic right! Well, she couldn't meet the older lady's eyes either as she stood right there. In my opinion, they both failed miserably!

    And not that I'm patting myself on the back….but I let the lady cut line and I chose to pay for her two items. I didn't do that for the accolades, I did it because in my heart I had to, God advised my heart. I don't think it was a ploy of somebody trying to get something free….and if it was…you take that chance. It was an opportunity for me to share in a Christ like way. I liked it. Thank you God for that moment of serving. Sad that I observed 2 people that chose not to….

    To answer your question, I try to treat all the same and probably even gone upside down trying to help someone with lesser out. It's just a really good God feeling to help others, gives me purpose.

    Enjoy your day Ron, another great post!

  3. I have discovered, over the years, that when people accept Christ, they have a tendency to feel they have reached a particularly high level in their lives and others should aspire to be like them! Evev going so far as to hold it agaist them, because they haven’t done this! Much to my chagrin, I have seen the very same behavior in myself! I know better! I know I don’t deserve where I am or what I have, and that it is God’s grace that brought me out; yet, I still act as though I have the right to judge them rather than explain to them. What a dichotomey!
    Twitter: bryankr