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The speeding ticket

          Jack took a long look at his speedometer before slowing down:73
in a 55 zone.. Fourth time in  a month.  How could a guy get caught so often?
When 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?  Bob from Church?  Jack sunk farther into his
trench coat.  This was worse than the coming ticket.. A Christian 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..

          Jumping 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."
"Hello, Jack." No smile.. "Guess you caught me red-handed in a rush to see
my wife and kids." "Yeah, I guess." Bob seemed uncertain.  Good.. "I've
seen 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?" "I know what you mean. 
I also know that you have a reputation in our precinct." Ouch. This was not going in
the right direction. Time to change tactics.. "What'd you clock me at?" "Seventy.  Would you
sit back in your car please?"
"Now 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
car." Flustered, Jack hunched himself through the still-open door.
Slamming it shut, he stared at the dash board.  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? Whatever the 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.. "Thanks." Jack
could not quite keep the sneer out of his voice.. Bob 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: "Dear Jack, 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..
My son is all I have left.. "Bob"

          Jack 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..

Life is precious.  Handle  it with care..


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