Anxious to get home after a long day at work, Todd put the pedal to the metal only to look down and realize he was going 75mph in a 55mph zone. Quickly, he pressed on the brakes, but not before flashing blue and white lights appeared in his rear view mirror.
“Ugh,” said Todd to himself. “Four times in three months. How could I be so unlucky?”
Todd pulled over, slouched in the driver’s seat, and waited for the policeman to approach him. As he saw the cop step out of his car, ticket pad in hand, Todd realized that he knew the policeman from church. “No way Chad will give me a ticket,” Todd thought, “we even sit next to each other sometimes, it’d be way too uncomfortable. He’ll just give me a warning.”
Todd stepped out of the car to greet the officer and shake his hand. “Hey Chad, fancy meeting you like this,” he laughed.
“Hi, Todd,” Chad responded seriously.
Todd proceeded, “Sorry buddy, had a long day in the office. Just anxious to get home to see the wife and kids, you know? Won’t happen again.”
“This is your fourth ticket in three months, Todd,” said the officer, who must have pulled up Todd’s record before getting out of his car.
“Come on, Chad, cut me some slack. I was barely even going ten over when you caught me.”
“In the car, Todd.”
Groaning and pissed off, Todd got back into his seat and shut the door while Chad scribbled away on the ticket pad. While Todd sat there waiting for his fine, he couldn’t believe his supposed friend wouldn’t give him a break.
The officer tapped on the window, Todd rolled it down barely enough to snatch the folded ticket, and neither man said a word.
Sneering, Todd watched Chad walk back to his patrol car. Once he had gotten inside and pulled away, Todd snorted and finally opened the ticket.
“What the…?” Todd said audibly as he opened the ticket. Rather than a ticket, he had received a personal note from his fellow churchgoer:
You don’t know this, but once upon a time, I had a daughter. A beautiful, blue-eyed, bouncy little girl named Clara, who I loved with my whole heart. She was six years old when she was killed in a car accident… by a speeding driver who had lost control of the wheel. I lost my little girl. This man lost a couple hundred dollars, spent a few months in jail, and then was free to return home to hug his own daughters.
Me, I’m going to have to wait until heaven before I can ever hug my little girl again. That’s why I go to church every Sunday… to try to be closer to her.
I’ve tried over and over, a hundred times to forgive that man. A hundred times I thought that I had. Maybe I had, maybe I hadn’t. But I have to try again, right now.
Please, I beg of you, be careful. Watch your speed, and pay attention to the road. My son is all I have left.
Todd read the note again, and again, and for a fourth time. He could not believe it. Thinking solemnly about what Chad had written, Todd pulled back onto the highway and maintained a safe speed all the way home. When he arrived home, he hugged his wife and kids, and vowed to never speed again.