Friday, March 25, 2011

A Waffle House Moment In Time....

I originally posted this story on July 29, 2010.

I pulled off of the interstate at a non-descript crossroads town near the Louisiana-Mississippi state line. It was nearing the noon hour and I was quite ready for lunch. I spied a Waffle House and that promised to be a quick, inexpensive solution to my hunger.

The cries of "Helloooo" echoed through the eatery as I entered. A small booth in the back was the perfect spot for me to eat while observing the comings and goings of the broad spectrum of patrons.

It was surprising that there were only a few customers present. Usually, at that time of day, Waffle Houses are pulsing with activity. I ordered a patty melt and relaxed in the relative quiet.

By and by, the door opened and a man entered. I would not have paid much attention, except for the fact that he stopped just inside the door and just stood there, looking down at the floor. He was dressed in what looked to be clean, if worn, clothing. He had a beard that needed trimming, and hair that was about three weeks past due for a haircut. One of the waitresses invited the man in, and motioned for him to take a seat.

In a low voice, while staring at the floor, the man asked if there might be any leftovers. He added, "I don't have any money to pay for it."

The waitress turned to the manager, who was also the cook, and told him the situation. The manager eyed the man, and said, "Sit down, sir---I'll give you a little something to get you on your way". The man timidly perched on a barstool at the counter.

He was served a waffle with syrup, a bowl of grits and a glass of water. The man was very meek and courteous, saying "thank you", and "I really appreciate this".

When he had finished, the waitress told the man that one of the other patrons had offered to pay for anything else he might want to eat. He stammered, "Who should I thank?" But the waitress said she could not tell him that, but he was free to order anything more that he might want. All he could think of was another bowl of grits and more water, which the waitress brought him. He thanked her again.

When he finished eating, he rose and quietly asked the waitress if it would be all right if he used the restroom. She told him of course it would be OK.

When the man came out of the restroom, he shuffled past my booth. I extended my hand to him as he passed me. He looked at me with a quizzical expression. In my hand was a $5 bill. "Oh, I couldn't take that", he whispered. I said "Yes---this is for you. Remember that Jesus loves you".

I thought I saw tears welling up in his eyes. "Thank you, sir", he murmured appreciatively, as he took the currency and backed to the door.

As he exited the restaurant, I arose to pay my bill. The waitress said to me, "That was a wonderful thing you did. God will bless you for that".

I told her that God has ALREADY blessed me beyond reason.

Leaving the Waffle House shortly after the man had departed, I looked for him to see where he was going. But he had mysteriously vanished.

Since that day, I think of that man often. And I sometimes wonder if God was testing all of us in that restaurant that day.


  1. It's good that you reposted this favorite blog. When I thought about it, a Waffle House is a very interesting place. I remember years ago when I would stop by one after I would leave the antique mall. The best seat in the house is at the counter.

    Just the other day I felt you and I had an unusual WH experience with Garry, our waiter that morning. I have never met a server quite like him and the way he shared so much about his life in the few minutes we shared with him.

    I look forward to more Waffle House experiences with you.

  2. Thanks for sharing that Clint. It choked me up. What a wonderful thing to do. God has given us so much to share. God bless!

  3. What a wonderful heart warming story, I supposed we get tested in numerous ways without realizing it.
    Thanks for a good read.

    Have a good week-endl

  4. What a great story. I wonder how many restaurants would have thrown him out. So good to see there are still some good people left in the world.

  5. Ray and I were in CA and it was getting late. We ordered a meal and then Ray ran outside with it? When he returned we shared mine. He told me he saw a man looking through the rubish bin for food, so he took his to him. He also gave some money.. You are both good men, and we your wives are very proud of you!!!! Hug. CM

  6. Made me cry today, dear Clint. Great post.

  7. We are examined each day on the new.
    I find this history completely marvelous.
    Love of greetings from Inken

  8. this story of compassion and goodwill gave me the chills. there are so many good people in this world, and i thank you for the reminder. and thank you for sharing, with the man and with us.=)

  9. Karen---Yes, I have been blessed in so many ways. Everything I have is from Him. Thanks be to God.

    Yvonne---Yes, I believe He is all around us all the time and it is up to us to recognize His leadings.

    Jane---I have wondered that myself. What do hungry people do when they have no money? The fact is that most of us, no matter how well-heeled, are just one or two bad breaks away from the poorhouse.

    Crystal Mary---God bless you and Ray both.

    Texwis---That makes me feel good!

    Inken---God bless you. I agree we are tested. It is important to pass those tests!

    Kelli---thank you. I'm happy the story means something to you. Blessings.

  10. What a lovely example of Christian charity. Have a great weekend. Blessings...Mary

  11. Thanks for sharing, and what a wonderful story. I would be great if more people would think like you and the manager.

    Have a beautiful weekend
    greetings and blessings

  12. It gives me goose bumps to read this account. What a humble man he was, to walk in, and honestly say all he wanted was some leftovers. That kind of breaks my heart. And what a kind act you did... and the store that gave him something to eat, and that person who paid for his bowl of grits...

    Yes, I must agree with you, he must have been an angel sent to test people in the store.

    Thank you for sharing this.


  13. Thank you, I will have to say today you made me cry. Blessings

  14. Angels unaware...You just never know