Grinch loses, wins in the end

Tuesday, Dec. 18, I was at a check cashing/payday loan place parking my car and saw a grey bank bag on the ground.
My first thought was leave it there and the person will come back for it.
A quick glance around my surroundings in a less-than-fashionable neighborhood full of people like me and my inner voice said “pick it up – now.”
So I did.
I drove off with my daughter in the back seat and the bag in the passenger-side seat looking for another check cashing place to cash my Christmas present, a post office money order.
After pulling up at another such place, I zipped open the grey bag and found there was $1,900 inside.
The cash was meant for deposit by someone from the first loan place.
“Take it back” my inner voice said.
“Wow!” my daughter exclaimed, eyes bugging out. “Look at all that money.”
“Muwoohahahaha” my inner voice went.

The theme from Dr. Seuss’ “Grinch who stole Christmas” ran through my head as well as the scenes when the green-haired freak does his stealing.
A quick list of debts needing paying ran before my eyes.
A longer Christmas list ran into my ears from my gleeful daughter.
“Whoa, Whoa” I told all the voices.
“The right thing to do is take this back to who it belongs. God said so,” I told my daughter (and myself).
“Finders, keepers is a lie. If you or I had lost this we’d want the finder to bring it back,” I said.
She was happy with that.
We went back and called a number listed on a sticky note stuck to the loan office’s door.
A tearful lady answered and immediately said “you found the bag” before I uttered a syllable.
“I prayed to Jesus and knew it would be found,” she said.
“Yes. ma’am, He answered your prayer,” I said, declining to tell her how many prayers of mine would have been answered had I kept the cash.
“God put it in me to bring it back,” I said truthfully.
God knows had I more time to think about it I’d have rationalized taking it, probably making up a lie like “I’ll pay it back later anonymously” or “insurance will replace the loss” or other lies scumbags like me tell themselves.
The evidence is there in my credit report.
So the lady got the cash back, insisted on rewarding me $50 and finally stopped thanking me and God.
I made my exit, telling my daughter I really shouldn’t have taken the reward but the lady left me no choice.
“The right thing to do is the right thing, regardless of the outcome. God would have rewarded me in heaven,” I told her.
“I’m hungry,” she said.
I gave her a piece of the ham I had bought.
We decided this was a very good day.

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2 Responses

  1. Wow! Sam, what a good article. You still have the ability to write a good article. But what is best is that you did exactly what your dad would have done as I have seen him do it many times when someone gave him too much change or he found something that belonged to someone else.

    I know it was difficult when you have such great needs, but you did the right thing.

    Ozarksue65

  2. Gee Mom, thanks. You’re also my 10th visitor, so you win:
    -My undying gratitude
    -A Christmas card that really will be mailed sometime before late 2008
    -A digital photo taken by the camera you sent me
    -A free telephone call at a time convenient to both of us and without the television or computer in the background to distract me
    -A coupon to Chuck E. Cheese contingent on you taking both children to the restaurant with you next time you’re in town
    -A birthday card actually sent BEFORE your birthday in January (Weren’t you born the same day as Elvis?)
    -A link to my blog. Oh wait, you have that already
    -Another e-mail updating you on my family’s status and lack of any major, uh, ok – felony convictions this year (so far)
    And I did get my drivers’ license reinstated. The funds you sent will go toward getting the next car insurance payment made. Thanks.

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