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Busted
by Joe harrison 
02/22/12
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This zip lock freezer bag weighed a good six pounds. It was full of, “chromies.” At least that’s what we called them. When no one was around I would hold the bag up and shake it around a little bit and feel a sense of pride, like I had accomplished something great, like I was somehow victorious. But I needed more.

You can find chromies on and custom car or luxury sedan, and even on select bicycles. They’re really just air valve stem caps. If you can pump air into it, it probably has one. Most of them are made of black plastic. Some of them though are chrome (hence chromies) and can have a square or rounded crown. I’ve seen eight balls, and dice and just about everything else you can imagine.

And I stole every one that I saw.

My friends and I would go on secret missions looking for chromies. They became collectables, like baseball cards or pogs, that we could admire and trade. Every time we would unscrew one of these caps was a thrill. We’d have a look out, and we were quick about it. I felt invincible every time I walked away with one in my pocket, a rush that I have never felt before.

But I got cocky. One day we targeted a black Escalade in the cul-de-sac where my friends and I lived-a little to close to home. Just as I was pulling the last of four chriomies off the neighbors car, this angry bear of a man came storming out of his house. We scattered. Eventually though I had to go home.

When I got home it was all I could think about. Did I get caught? Did I get away with it? What am I supposed to do? My questions were answered by a knock at the door. Nowhere to hide. The jig was up. My mom walked up to me minutes later to ask about the recent heist. Natural instinct was to lie, right? Say it wasn’t you, or blame it on your friends. Pleading the fifth could buy you some time, say nothing at all. What did I do?

“I’m so busted” I cried. I literally cried, I bawled. I broke down. I was so busted. I didn’t cry because I thought it would get me out of trouble, I cried because I felt so ashamed. There was nothing left to do but cry, and feel sorry.

My mom was calm. She didn’t need to do anything. She could see that I was genuinely remorseful. This was stealing and I knew it all along, but the temtation and the thrill was so hard to resist. I never stole another chromie again.

In my heart I felt sorry, my mom knew it. She forgave me.

I feel the same way when it comes to my relationship with Christ. When you are genuinely sorry for what you have done, your father knows it, and he is happy to forgive.

I’m glad I got caught. I learned a very valuable lesson, and now we can all have a good laugh about it. Twenty years later and my family still jokes with me as they sob and blubber,”Immm..sooo..buuusted.”{sniff}.


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