What would you do if an armored car suddenly began spilling money into the air? Patty Wesner of Greenwich, New York encountered such an unlikely event this week. She found herself following a Brink’s truck and thought to herself, “Wouldn’t it be funny if money fell out of it?” When the truck hit a bump in the road, its back door flew open. Next she knew, thousands of dollar bills were fluttering out.
She honked her horn to get the truck to stop, but the drivers didn’t hear her. So she pulled over, gathered as much of the money as she could, and called 911. Within minutes, a New York State Police trooper and two policemen arrived on the scene. They gathered up the rest of the loose money and located the Brink’s drivers. The truck lost a total of $11,000, all of which was recovered. Brink’s is now donating $2,500 to the community library where Patty Wesner is executive director.
A homeless man in Kansas City, Missouri is in the news for similar integrity. A woman mistakenly dropped her diamond engagement ring into his donation cup along with some spare change. Billy Ray Harris kept the ring safe until its owner, Sarah Darling, returned to ask about it. Her wedding and engagement rings had been bothering her, so she put them into her purse, which is how the latter ended up in Billy’s cup.
After he returned Mrs. Darling’s ring to her, her husband established a fund for Mr. Harris which has received more than $170,000. In addition, Mr. Harris and his sister have reconnected after they lost touch 20 years ago. She lives in Texas, and has offered him a place with her. When the story broke, Mr. Harris told one reporter, “What I actually feel like is, what has the world come to when a person returns something that doesn’t belong to them and all of this happens?” He has a point.
We could discuss the growing theft problem in our country (while our population has doubled since 1960, thefts have more than tripled). But I’d rather focus on the positive this morning: when two people did the right thing, the culture took note. As a room grows darker, light grows more visible. At one time in ancient Israel, “the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions” (1 Samuel 3:1). As a result, God’s word to Samuel became transforming for the nation.
One way God is redeeming the moral decline of our society is by raising up more Samuels. Jesus taught us to “let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Who will praise your Father today because of you?