Stop, in the Name of the Law

Susan Hetrick

Read: James 2:14-19

So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (v. 17)

Jim, a police officer in Kentucky, was called out to a local grocery store with a report of a shoplifting in progress. He arrived just in time to watch the suspect walk out the door. The suspect was a young man, about 19 years old, and Jim was surprised to see that he was pushing a baby in a stroller. Jim rolled up next to the young man and ordered him to stop. The young man stopped, sat down on the curb—and burst into tears.

After Jim interviewed the store manager, he determined that the only things the young man was accused of stealing were a package of diapers and a can of baby formula. After speaking with the young suspect himself, Jim learned that he was a single father, and although he was working, he didn’t have the money that week to feed his six-month-old daughter.

Jim was overcome with compassion. He explained the situation to the store manager, who agreed not to press charges. “I am a father myself,” Jim said. “I can’t imagine how tough it must be to watch your kid go hungry. Arresting this young man and sending him to jail wouldn’t help anyone.” Jim then took it upon himself to buy several packs of diapers and several cans of formula for the young father, who was left speechless.

—Susan Hetrick

Lord, remind us to live out our faith with caring deeds done for others.