Excerpt from
The Jensen Family

Probably he got caught in a steel trap like this one over here," their dad said, pointing to an exhibit in the next case.
"But how could he get free from that?" Julie asked.

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– posted 12.04.2009

Justice Plus

A Character story about justice.

Tommy rolled over and slapped the top of his alarm. Seven o'clock already? he thought. Hey, this is Saturday. Oh good. I can catch a few more zzz's.
Just as Tommy rolled over, he heard a knock on his door. "Are you up?"
"It's Saturday, Melissa. I wanna sleep."
"Don't you remember? We're earning some Christmas money working for Mr. Jacobs today. Now hurry up. We have to be there in 30 minutes."
Tommy got dressed and silently gobbled down his breakfast. Then the two strolled up the street and knocked on Mr. Jacob's door.
"Well, how good to see you kids today," the white-haired man greeted. "Come right in. Are you ready for my surprise project?"
"I think so," Melissa offered. "So why wouldn't you tell us what it was before?"
"Because I want to explain it to you. Then you can decide if you want to do it."
"Sounds fair to me," Tommy said.
"All right. Come this way." Mr. Jacobs took the two up some steep stairs to the attic.
"Wow! Look at all this junk- er, I mean stuff!" Tommy exclaimed.
"Yes, I tend to be quite a collector," Mr. Jacobs admitted with a chuckle. "In fact, I think I'm finally going to make a little money on one of my collections. A friend has offered me, well, quite a sum of money for my collection of National Geographic magazines if I have a complete set. That's where you two come in. I have these magazines in boxes all around here and, unfortunately, they've got mixed up over the years. The project is simply to put them in order. If you agree to do it, I will give each of you five dollars."
"We each get five dollars for putting magazines in order?" Tommy said. "It's a deal!"
"Yah. I'll help too," Melissa agreed.
"Good. I'll check on you after a bit to see how you're doing."
When Mr. Jacobs left, the two emptied the nearest box of magazines onto the floor. "How we gunna do this?" Melissa asked, looking down the binding of the piled magazines.
"Let's sort one box at a time. The oldest one here is August, 1967 so let's put that one first."
When that box's magazines were in order, they found another and emptied it on the floor. "Wow. Look here, Tommy. This one goes back to June of 1953. I wonder if he has forty years of these things! That would be a lot of magazines!" The two worked hard for the first hour, but then the task started to get boring. Finally they sat down to rest.
"Man, we got magazines all the way from 1952 until 1992. This is gunna take forever."
"Yeah," Melissa agreed. "I'm beginning to think that five dollars wasn't worth all the work."
Just then they heard some noise on the stairs. "Hey you guys. What's up?"
"Troy!" Tommy greeted with a smile. "What're you doing here?"
"Mr. Jacobs asked if I'd like to help you with a project. What're you doin'?"
"Sorting out magazines. And we could sure use some help."
At noon when Mr. Jacobs brought sandwiches to the three, two girls were following him. "Crystal, Amanda. How'd you know I was here?" Melissa asked, beaming.
"Your mom told us. And Mr. Jacobs said we could help you, too."
"Great! It seems like the more magazines we sort, the more we find!"
The hours zipped by as the kids mixed sorting with perusing. At three o'clock the project was still a long way from over, and three more neighborhood kids joined them. "I know what let's do," Todd proposed. "Four of you stay by the line here, spaced out about 10 years. Like, Melissa, you stay in the 1950's, Crystal in the 1960's, and so on. Then when we pull a magazine from the pile, we'll hand it to you to put in the right place. Get it?"
"Sounds O.K. to me," Melissa agreed. "If I'd have known how long this would take, I'd never have agreed to it in the first place."
At five o'clock and with only three boxes to go, John and Miranda arrived to help.
"We're almost done now, but you two can do something," Tommy agreed.
As the clock chimed six, the ten children descended the attic stairs to report to Mr. Jacobs. "We finished," Tommy announced. "From January 1952 until December 1992 you are only missing one magazine, from April of 1983."
"Excellent," the old man responded with delight. "That particular issue I have been reading. Excellent article on Jerusalem, you know. Now, it's time to pay you children for your hard work." The kids beamed as Mr. Jacobs pulled out his wallet and handed John and Miranda each a five dollar bill. Tommy looked shocked and was about to say something, but Melissa stopped him.
"If he gives them five dollars for only working an hour," she whispered, "think how much he'll give us!" . Tommy nodded in agreement.
Mr. Jacobs continued, giving each of the children a five dollar bill until he came to Melissa and Tommy. Their faces couldn't hide their expectation. "And here is the five dollars I owe each of you," he said with a smile.
"Five dollars?" Tommy blurted out. "I worked a lot harder than those other guys. Melissa and me worked the whole day. We should get more than them!" The other children nodded in agreement.
"My Dears, when you came this morning, didn't you agree to do this project for five dollars? I haven't cheated you. If I choose to give these other children five dollars also, can't I do it? After all, it is my money to do with as I please, ay?"
Now read Matthew 20:1-16 in the Bible. When you and I compare our earnings with what others get, we will usually be discontent and feel we weren't treated fairly. But when we serve the Lord out of a heart of love, not just for a reward, He will be just and give us far more blessings than we ever deserved. And we'll be happy for God's blessings to others too.