“Hey, kid! Been in a crash, huh?”
“Yeah,” Jeff said, watching for a chance to escape. “So?”
“Weren’t nosing around in the woods, were you? Didn’t happen to find something that doesn’t belong to you, did ya?”
Jeff opened his mouth trying to think of a reply….
“Nah,” said one teenager, “Don’t deny it. We know you were there.”
“Where’s the money, kid?” said the other.
Jeff felt as if they could see right through his jacket pocket to the bulging wallet. They closed in and he prayed to God for help—fast.
Just then a siren blasted. A police car zoomed past, then another came toward them! It didn’t have anything to do with Jeff but it scared the teenagers out of their wits. They turned and took off down the alley.
The second police car slowed down and an officer stuck his head out, “Everything okay here?”
“Yeah. Thanks,” said Jeff, shakily. He hurried on to the clinic.
Doctor Conners seemed like a nice man. He thanked Jeff over and over and told his story.
“This wasn’t my money. I was at a fundraiser. We didn’t make much but it was enough to buy medicine for a very sick girl for a few weeks at least.
The teenagers were there. They saw me take the money and followed me on their motorcycles. They were trying to get me to stop, to rob me, I suppose. I don’t think they meant to cause the accident but that road was slippery and I went through the guard rail. I hit my head and was in a daze. The kids came down after me and I was too out of it to fight them. But someone had seen the accident and stopped so the kids took off. The paramedics took me to the hospital to get checked out but by the time I realized I didn’t have my wallet and went back to my car, it was gone. I just figured those kids had it.”
Jeff was excited. “Wow, that’s just what happened to me.” He told the doctor about hitting the slippery patch on his bike and about the incident with the teenagers just a few minutes before.
The doctor listened in amazement. “Who says there’s no police around when you need them?” he laughed.
They talked for some time. Jeff was really beginning to like this guy.
“Of course, I paid the money since I was the one that lost it,” said the doctor. “But this is great. This will buy that little girl’s medicine for another few weeks.
I can’t thank you enough. I wish I could pay for everybody who comes into this clinic and needs medicine but I just can’t do it.” He shook his head sadly .
The man was so happy he’d come and was acting like he was so great that Jeff had to tell him the truth. “I didn’t want to call. I almost didn’t. I almost kept the money.”
“Well, you made the right choice and that’s what counts. Come on, I’ll drop you off at home.”
“I was going to the mechanic. My bike….”
“No, let me. I can’t afford to give you a reward or anything but I know how to fix bikes. It’s the least I can do.”
Wow! He was getting his bike fixed right away! No waiting!
He called home and asked permission to get a ride with the doctor. When they arrived, he introduced Dr. Connors and excitedly told his mother everything.
Later, he asked, “by the way, where’s Aunt Harriet? Did she want to know where I was?”
“She’s in bed. She fell and hurt her ankle. She’s in a lot of pain.”
Serves her right, Jeff thought. Now she knows how it feels.
His mother seemed to know what he was thinking, as usual. “Now, Jeff….”
But before she could say anymore, he heard his name being called from down the hall.
It was Aunt Harriet. He reluctantly went down to her bedroom where she was sitting in bed with her foot up, watching TV. “Will you get dinner and get me a cup of tea?” She didn’t sound grumpy and cocky, as usual. She sounded in pain. “I just can’t get up.”
Well, now she knows how Mom feels too, not being able to get up and do things.
Immediately a Bible verse popped into his mind—something about loving your enemies and treating them kindly. He sighed. O-o-kay, Lord. And Aunt Harriet wasn’t even an enemy, really. He had made some wrong choices lately. Maybe it was time to keep making some right ones, now that he’d started.
“Sure, Aunt Harriet.”
She stared at him, astonished, as if she hadn’t expected him to be so cooperative. He brought her tea. He made spaghetti. That was easy. As he dumped a jar of sauce into the pan, he thought about how this day was ending up a lot differently than he’d thought it would. He was happier than he’d been all weekend. He had that wallet off his hands and the guilt along with it. And he actually didn’t mind helping out Aunt Harriet. Now that was certainly a change.
For the next couple of days, he was busy taking care of the household.
Sometimes his aunt was a real pain but one evening, she actually smiled and said, “Maybe I was too hard on you, Jeff. You are different.”
Then one day when he arrived home from school, he found his bike as good as new in the front yard.
And the doctor’s car was there. He found Dr. Conners sitting next to his mother, talking.
“Jeff!” she exclaimed. “I have some good news. There’s a new treatment that might work. I told the doctor that I’ve tried everything-that we could afford, anyway. But he says there’s been a breakthrough that might work for me. We’re going to try it.”
All of a sudden everything seemed to be going right. Jeff knew that life wouldn’t always be perfect but He realized that God was in charge after all. Even if Mom didn’t get better, he was starting to understand how she could be happy and cheerful even in difficult times.
He grinned at the doctor and realized that God had worked this whole thing out beyond anything he could have imagined. He had a feeling that this new Christian life of his was going to be very interesting with God in charge.
By Carol Bennett