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Thursday, August 05, 2004

The Proper Application of Law and Gospel

Yesterday at work I had a very interesting experience. There were two high school kids sitting in my section, and I thought to myself, "These kids are either going to stiff me, or leave me a huge tip because they look like to kind of people who don't understand the value of money. Sometimes you get these young kids that haven't figured out that leaving you $10 on a $15 dollar check is a bad idea for them. They might need to buy gas or something later. The opposite is the kid who doesn't realise that I work here to make money, my mom doesn't buy my gas like his does, so they leave nothing at all.

Anyways, back to these two specific kids. They both order drinks, appetizers, and entrees. The bill comes to $31.53. They have happened to arrive just before the lunch rush hits, so I know exactly what they are doing. But for some reason, shortly after I start getting busier one of the kids is gone. He could be in the bathroom, he could be in Rome. I don't know. The other kid asks for the check. He puts some money down, so I offer to give him change. "It's not all there," he says," my friend went to go get the rest of my money." So I wait. I go take onother order, walk into the kitchen, come back and the dumb kid is gone.

Making a long story short, they dine-and-dash! I get $4 for a $31.53 check! I am freaking out because I think that I have to pay this check. So I go crying to my manager. I don't have to pay the check, they're going to comp it. But here's the twist. One of my fellow employees lives across the street from the dumb kid who ripped me off and called his house and told him he either needs come be a man and pay his bill, or the cops are going to be knocking on his door the next day to arrest him for stealing. Dumb Kid had some friends over at the time and was bragging about how he'd pulled one over on me. But now he was scared, and he was coming back to pay, after he got the money from his mom!!

So I spent the rest of the afternoon waiting until Dumb Kid and Dumb Friend come to pay their check, and while I wait I think, "How can I be a Christian to these kids? How do I show them that what they did was wrong, convicting them of their sin, and then quickly forgive them, and show them the mercy of Christ so as to impact them in a way they have never yet been impacted?" I think about telling them how my manager would have made me pay the check if for any reason she had suspected that I had taken the money myself, or let them go with out paying. I thought about telling them that I am 7 months pregnant, and I am trying to save money before the baby is born so I can quit working. I thought about all these ways of showing them that they were wrong, and they should not just be sorry they got caught, but be sorry they had even tried it in the first place. Then I wanted to tell them that they were forgiven, thank them for being brave enough to come and fess up to their crime. Tell them we weren't going to press charges, they were off the hook. "Now that's some undiluted Gospel if I've ever seen it," I thought. I was hoping to be a servant of the Word, what an honor!

Then the kids showed up and the two biggest guys that work with me stood threateningly in their path. My manager came up and took their money and gave them change. I only got there in time to see them looking embarrassed and kind of like they really didn't care. Then they left. All that work for nothing. No lesson learned, and no Gospel shared. Crap!