People and Pens
WE CAN’T MAKE THE WHOLE WORLD HONEST, BUT WE CAN TRY TO BE HONEST OURSELVES.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read Leviticus 26:3-6, 9-12.
Verse of the Day: “People with integrity have firm footing, but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall” (Proverbs 10:9).
Jillian’s feet moved fast as she tried to keep up with her father’s long strides on the shopping plaza corridor. She and Dad were spending the morning together as Dad ran his weekly errands.
Next, Dad stopped at the bank. Jillian walked beside her father to a high table. He took a slip of paper out of a rack and began writing with a pen that was anchored to the table with a small chain of silver beads.
Afterward, Jillian followed her dad to a long line that wove through a maze of silver posts and thick red ropes. “Daddy,” she said when they had joined the slow-moving line, “why was that pen tied to that big desk?”
Dad cocked his head to one side, unsure at first what Jillian was talking about. Then he realized she was talking about the bank pen he had used to fill out his deposit slip. “Oh, that,” he said. “The bank has to tie the pens to the table or people will take them, I guess.”
“You mean people steal here?” Jillian asked.
“Yes,” Dad said, chuckling. “Some people might not mean to take them, and others do, I suppose.”
Jillian looked back at the table. “They shouldn’t have to tie everything down.” “You’re right,” Dad said. “And if everyone were honest, they wouldn’t have to.” “Are you playing the ‘What If?’ game, Daddy?” Jillian asked. Dad chuckled again and crouched down to face his daughter better. “I guess I am,” he said. “So … what if everyone in the world were honest?”
“Banks wouldn’t have to tie their pens to the tables!” Jillian said. Dad nodded. “What else?”
“Umm …” She looked around the bank. “They wouldn’t have to put the money in big, big safes!”
Dad glanced behind him and saw the massive safe door. “That’s right. What else?” Jillian’s head rotated around and around. She pointed at a surveillance camera. “They wouldn’t need those cameras, would they, Daddy?”
“No,” Dad said, “they wouldn’t. They wouldn’t have to watch everybody who came into their bank.”
“I wish everybody in the world really was honest,” Jillian said. “That would be nice.” “Well,” Dad answered, “let’s make sure we are honest, OK? That’s a good start.”
TO DO: Play the ‘What If?’ game as a family, imagining how things would be different if everyone in the world were honest.
TO PRAY: “Lord, keep us alert to the many blessings and advantages of honest behavior.”