Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Write an INSPIRATIONAL or DEVOTIONAL piece (04/26/07)
TITLE: Devil On The Sidewalk
By Dolores Stohler
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To add to our worries, our landlady asked us to move from the tiny furnished apartment we were renting. Her mother lived in front of us and wouldn’t tolerate a baby’s crying. We found another one not half as attractive. Our choices were limited because we didn’t have money to buy furniture. For the next two years we struggled financially while my husband eked out a living selling shoes on commission and I stayed home with the baby.
I remember walking along the sidewalk pushing my son in his stroller while I scoured the gutter with my eyes, hoping to find some stray change. My heart held a secret wish that I might find some dollar bills so I could buy something special as the bare necessities were all we could afford at the time.
Then one day, as I was coming out of the local grocery and putting my son into his stroller, I spied a $20 bill on the sidewalk. Gasping with pleasure, I picked it up. Then I found another, and another. I don’t recall the exact amount but it would have been enough to pay the rent and buy groceries for a month, I figured. What a find! But my pleasure was short lived for there on the sidewalk, at the end of the trail of money, was a bankbook. I picked it up and looked inside. In the front was the name of the owner with no address or phone number.
I did the only thing my conscience would allow. Stuffing the money inside the bankbook and picking up the baby, I went back into the store and showed the manager what I’d found. “I think she must have been shopping in your store,” I offered by way of explanation.
“Why, yes,” he replied. “Mrs. Meyers left only a few minutes ago. She’s a regular customer. I waited on her and she said her next stop was the bank. She’ll probably call when she finds the money missing and I’ll see that she gets it. Thank you for turning it in.”
It would have been so easy to keep that money and ignore the bankbook. But I knew, as a Christian, that I would be a great disappointment to God. And there would have been no living with my conscience. The devil stood on the sidewalk that day, offering a temptation he thought I couldn’t resist. How wrong he was!
“Happy is the man who doesn’t give in and do wrong when he is tempted, for afterwards he will get as his reward the crown of life that God has promised those who love him.” (James 1:12 LB)
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