"When I Was a Busboy" - by Rev. Weldon Bares


When I was sixteen years old, I worked at Don's Seafood in Lafayette as a bus boy. As I was busing the tables every night, I usually found and saved some good table-scraps to bring home to the family dog, Noonie. She was always excited to see me come home. One night, a man who was eating got up from his table and left. He left behind on his plate half of a large expensive steak. I couldn’t believe it. I said to myself, "Oh boy, Noonie is going to love this."

So I got the steak and put it in the paper bag of other food. I then went back to get my tray to clean the table. As I was doing this, he came back to the table. He had only gone to the restroom! Oops. He looked around because he couldn’t find his steak.

With fear, I walked back to the table and apologized to the customer. With even more fear, I told my manager what had happened. He just frowned and shook his head, and told me to order another steak from the kitchen. I am surprised to this day that I wasn’t let go that night. I was also surprised that I didn’t have to pay for the steak out of my own pocket.

We sometimes have a difficult time trying to define the word “grace,” but we know it when we see it, or experience it. For a sixteen year old busboy, that was grace. It was a touch of mercy and a second chance.

I am so thankful that God offers to us grace. Scripture says that it’s the only way to find salvation. “For by grace are you saved through faith. It is not of yourselves. It is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)