Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Lost Wallet

Last Monday, Wayne ran to Walmart to get the turbo tax program that he needed.  He bought it and between the checkout counter and the car he realized he didn’t have his wallet.  He was pretty sure he left it at the checkout stand and went directly back in to see.  No wallet.  He headed to the cart parking where he dropped his cart on the way out of the store… no wallet.  He was sick.  He went to the service desk and reported it missing.  He also called the police because he had $1400  in cash in his wallet  and asked to look at the surveillance cameras.    No go on the cameras til Tuesday they said…but the Police took down the report and Wayne waited by the checkout stands hoping to have someone  either use his wallet or  turn the wallet in and he would reward them with a hundred  bucks.   No luck.  We cancelled all of our cards. He came home discouraged from the lost money and the taxes would have to wait.

 The Police called on Tuesday night and said they had Wayne’s wallet.  The cameras showed Wayne coming back into the store…passing his wallet which was in the seat of the cart he had just used, and heading to the checkout stand.  Then a man and his son came in, the man pocketed the wallet and was pushing the cart into the store as Wayne went to the cart area to search.  He just missed it.  The man went through the whole store…he said ....debating whether to turn the wallet in or not, and when he saw how much money was in it…decided to take it.  The police got the wallet back to Wayne with NO money in it.  The man was behind on his house payments and used the $1400 at the bank that morning.   This is a disabled vet, wife and three kids, lives n NSL, an ambulance driver.  No criminal offenses, not even a parking ticket…and now this crime.   I call it his Jean Val Jean moment…and it’s sad.
He broke the law and a commandment.  Thou shalt not steal.

This man could have been obedient to the laws and turned the money and wallet in.  I'm sure the Lord would have blessed him had he done this.  He could have used it for a teaching moment for his son....  "We need this money, but it's not ours and we will turn it in." 
 This was his test and he failed.  Good thing there wasn’t $1500 in the wallet or this would be considered a felony and the guy would be sitting in jail right now.  At  $1400 it’s a misdemeanor with time spent at court, a criminal record and restitution having to be made. 

 I’ve thought a lot about this.  What will my Jean Val Jean moment be?  Will I steal for my families welfare?  Or will I hold true to what is right?   It’s a difficult choice, that’s for sure  and one I hope to never have to face.  I know this life is about overcoming the natural man. I know if we are obedient to the commandments, we will be blessed...even when it's hard.

This wallet stealing has brought back to my memory a time when I took a purse.  I remember taking a small black purse with a gold chain off of the playground at Bountiful Elementary school.  I would have been 8 or 9 years old.  Old enough to know better.   I found a little girl's purse and instead of turning it in, I sneaked it to my house and hid it in a drawer in my bedroom.  It was filled with treasure: a dolls head, some candy, a few coins...all the things that should be in a purse.  It was amazing that I found it. I couldn't believe my luck.  I remember opening that drawer, looking in at the purse and instead of feeling happy I felt so guilty.  I couldn't even enjoy it.  I couldn't tell my mom or show my sister or play with any of  it.  After a few days I took the purse back to the playground, put it right where I found it, and went inside and told the office that it was there.  My guilt ridden days were over.  I remember this all so clearly.  It really affected me.  I'm glad the Holy Ghost was with me and inspired me to finally make the right choice and take the purse filled with treasure back. 

1 comment:

Stecky said...

Thanks for the post. I had an incident last week where I was shocked to discover that I am not perfect. I dropped a light bulb in a store and hung it back up and purchased another. I couldn't believe that I even thought about that. I prayed hard and knew that to remove the black spot on my soul I had to make it right right. I went right back to the store and purchased the package I had dropped. Took it was fine, but I was bothered that I took that little step in the wrong direction. I am examining my heart very carefully. Thanks for the inspiration. I hope you get the money back. I hope that man can turn his path.