American Red, White & Blue
took a long look at his speedometer before slowing down: 73
in a 55 zone. Fourth time in as many months. How could a
guy get caught so often?
his car had slowed to 10 miles an hour, Jack pulled over,
but only partially. Let the cop worry about the
potential traffic hazard. Maybe some other car will
tweak his backside with a mirror. The cop was stepping out of
his car, the big pad in hand.
Bob from Church? Jack sunk farther into his trench coat. This
was worse than the coming ticket. A cop catching a guy from
his own church. A guy who happened to be a little eager
to get home after a long day at the office. A guy he was
about to play golf with tomorrow.
out of the car, he approached a man he saw every Sunday, a
man he'd never seen in uniform. "Hi, Bob. Fancy meeting
you like this."
Jack." No smile.
"Guess you caught me
red-handed in a rush to see my wife and kids."
I guess." Bob seemed uncertain. Good.
some long days at the office lately. I'm afraid I bent the
rules a bit -just this once." Jack toed at a pebble on
the pavement. "Diane said something about roast
beef and potatoes tonight. Know what I mean?"
know what you mean. I also know that you have a reputation in
our precinct." Ouch. This was not going in the right
Time to change tactics.
you clock me at?"
"Seventy. Would you
sit back in your car please?"
wait a minute here, Bob. I checked as soon as I saw you. I
was barely nudging 65." The lie seemed to come easier
with every ticket.
"Please, Jack, in the
Flustered, Jack hunched himself
through the still-open door. Slamming it shut, he stared
at the dashboard. He was in no rush to open the window. The
minutes ticked by. Bob scribbled away on the pad. Why hadn't
he asked for a driver's license?
reason, it would be a month of Sundays before Jack ever sat
near this cop again. A tap on the door jerked his head to the
left. There was Bob, a folded paper in hand. Jack rolled down
the window a mere two inches, just enough room for Bob
to pass him the slip.
could not quite keep the sneer out of his voice.
returned to his police car without a word. Jack watched his
retreat in the mirror. Jack unfolded the sheet of paper. How
much was this one going to cost? Wait a minute. What was
this? Some kind of joke? Certainly not a ticket. Jack
began to read:
Once upon a
time I had a daughter. She was six when killed by a car. You
guessed it -- a speeding driver. A fine and three months in
jail, and the man was free. Free to hug his daughters.
All three of them. I only had one, and I'm going to have
to wait until Heaven before I can ever hug her again. A
thousand times I've tried to forgive that man. A
thousand times I thought I had. Maybe I did, but I need to do
it again. Even now. Pray for me. And be careful, Jack,
my son is all I have left." - Bob
turned around in time to see Bob's car pull away and head
down the road. Jack watched until it disappeared. A full 15
minutes later, he too, pulled away and drove slowly
home, praying for forgiveness and hugging a surprised
wife and kids when he arrived.
is precious. Handle with care.
cars are not the only things recalled by their maker.
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