When a clerk at an Indianapolis check-cashing establishment testified that an armed robber in his early 20’s asked her to pray with him before stealing $20, everyone in the courtroom was speechless.
“He said that he hated to have to do this, but times were hard and he had no choice.”
For a young man to have any remorse at all for stealing a measly $20, I think it’s safe to assume that he was at the end of his rope – sadly he’s not alone in American today.
I think we fail to realize just how quickly the rug of financial stability can be pulled from under us. Yet American’s continue to squander their earnings to maintain an image purely based on material possessions and brand names. This “image” we all deem so important is completely irrelevant when you find yourself struggling to keep a roof over your head and food on the table.
In Mitch Albom’s book entitled “Have a Little Faith,” he makes an insightful proclamation upon exiting a homeless shelter housed in the gymnasium of an old church.
“On my way out, I took one last peek into the gym. I heard the steady hum of the blowers and saw the shadowy bumps under the blankets, some lying still, some tossing slightly. It’s hard to express what hit me then, except the thought that every one of those bumps was a man, every man once a child, every child once held by his mother, and now this: a cold gym floor at the bottom of the world.”
No one ever plans to be homeless, unemployed or a criminal stealing $20 from a total stranger. As Albom states, everyone was a child once – void of the realities that often comprise the cruel world of being an adult.
Several days later, the young robber from above eventually turned himself in. Perhaps it was the result of his prayers or just maybe the realization that life in prison might actually be better than the life he was leading.
For those of us with a decent job and money in the bank, living fairly comfortably, remember that life can be unpredictable. So be thankful the next time you reach for a twenty-dollar bill and without fail find it conveniently tucked away in your wallet.
“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” ― Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose