Sensing that some sort of calamity had happened, I rushed downstairs ready to deal with whatever was going on; yet very much still somewhat asleep, only to find a young man talking with Cathy.
Still trying to wrap my head around what was going on, I proceeded to ask questions to which Cathy, realizing that the noise had awakened me from a sound sleep, communicated that everything was OK and that I could go back to sleep as she escorted the young man outside.
“What is going on and who was that man?” I asked Cathy as she closed the front door to prevent the cold from coming inside of the house.
Cathy explained that the he was the paper carrier and that in an attempt to not have to leave his car on such a cold day, he threw the Sunday newspaper THROUGH the glass storm door and shattered it because of the extreme cold.
The young man had knocked on the door to apologize, take full responsibility, and leave his contact information so that he could pay for the repairs.
“Well”, I said in reply, “that’s one way to finally get them to get the paper on the front steps”, citing that this time they went a bit too far; because this time it landed INSIDE of the enclosed front porch!
As I cleaned up the broken glass and temporarily closed up the storm door window with plastic, I thought back to what little reward we had received for the amount of effort we had spent to get the paper delivered. Let me explain…
For over ten years we had a great newspaper carrier who was courteous and faithful in his delivery of the newspaper to our house. Each and every time that he delivered the newspaper he would place it in an area of the front steps that would be protected from the elements.
Each and every time he delivered our newspaper; on time and at the correct time so we could actually read the news before we saw it on TV at night. And then our faithful carrier retired and little did we know that we would really miss his faithful service over all these years...
And then the newspaper sent over a different carrier or carriers because we never did meet them. Each and every day of the week there was different carrier. Each and every day we played the game: “Hey, when do you think they will deliver the newspaper?” The latest that we received the morning paper was at 4pm.
Each and every day we would call the newspaper and they would explain that it wasn’t their fault because they were having trouble hiring a permanent carrier. I explained that this was not my problem and they needed to live up to their portion of the contract; because I had fulfilled my end by sending in a check each and every time that they sent a bill.
This fun game of ‘what time they will deliver a paper’ was only outdone by the game of: “Where do you think that they will leave the paper?” Each and every day they would deliver the paper to a new location. It was like an Easter egg hunt…except not really fun; especially when it was raining and the newspaper get wet. My favorite place was a tie between on the front curb and the side of the house.
The sad part is that it only takes me about five minutes to read the paper cover to cover, so I (and Cathy as well) spent too much time calling to report that we didn’t receive a newspaper.
And then it happened…on a cold January morning when a well intended newspaper carrier, in an attempt to hit our front steps, threw the Sunday newspaper through our from storm door window…
Both Cathy and I felt impressed to not to charge the young man because it was an accident, and he was responsible to take actions to try to make things right. Cathy called the carrier and explained that we have been blessed and that we didn’t want him to pay for anything and that we weren’t mad because of how he dealt with things, and because we knew that the cold weather had something to do with the accident.
I’m not sure what happened in that transaction of forgiveness of debt, but from that point on, each and every time he delivers the newspaper, it is on time and it is in a plastic bag, and it is in an area on the front steps that is completely protected from the elements.
And all it took was a broken window…
“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.” (Colossians 3:12-13 NKJV)