“Do you really think we should do this?” asks the young wife.
“Come on, Cindy, we talked about this last night.”
“Jeff, it made sense last night but today, sitting here, in the car, right in front of the bank, I don’t know if this is what the Lord wants us to do or not.”
“Now we both agreed that we would fill out the application and if it is the Lord’s will, He would make sure it would be approved.”
“We’ve only been married just over a year and our financial house is a mess. I don’t understand how borrowing more money is going to help. Besides, I’ve been thinking if it is not the will of the Lord for us to get the loan then why would it be His will for us to fill out the application?”
“Cindy, we went through this last…”
In mid-sentence Jeff was interrupted by a loud bell. Two people came running out of the bank. They were clothed completely in black, both had ski masks over their face, each individual had a gun in one hand and a large bag in the other. They jumped into the car parked in front of Jeff and Cindy’s fifteen-year-old Chevy and sped off around the corner.
As soon as the black Olds was out of sight, Jeff started the engine and stepped on the gas. “What are you doing? Jeff! Why are you going after bank robbers? They just robbed the bank!”
“Our money problems are over.”
“What are you talking about? They have all the money.”
“Look honey, we’ll follow them and get the reward.”
“What’s wrong with you Jeff? We can’t apprehend bank robbers. We don’t have a gun or anything. You’re not a cop. You cook in a restaurant.”
Both cars had slowed down, mingling into traffic. Jeff was following about a block behind. “Don’t you get it? We’ll follow them, find out where they go, then we’ll call the police and in a few days we will collect our reward. Maybe even get a key to the city.”
“I don’t like this. I don’t like this one bit Jeff Peterson.”
The tone in Cindy’s voice plus the fact she used both his first and last names would normally cause Jeff to stop whatever he was doing, maybe try again later, but with this there would be no “later” and he knew it. “Honey, Sweetheart, this is the answer to our prayers that we have been looking for.”
Her reaction was silent but spoke volumes. She turned her face away and looked out the passenger’s window. “Look at it this way Sweetheart, last night we both decided to come to the bank.” Her shoulders tightened, she did not want to be reminded of that, but he had to go through the steps or he would never convince her.
“When we got here, the Lord put doubt in your mind which delayed our entry to the bank. If we had just walked in, we would have been in there while the bank was being robbed. God delayed us and now He is about to provide the money we need to get us out of the financial mess we are in.”
“I really don’t think God would answer our prayer that way.” She was still looking out the window.
“God works in mysterious ways! Look! They are getting on the Interstate.”
“Jeff, don’t get on the Interstate please. I’m sure God would rather have us learn how to handle our money the right way than have men rob a bank to get us out of the hole.”
“Cindy? Where is your faith?”
“It is with God not in the back seat of a stolen car.”
Jeff decided he shouldn’t have attacked her faith, maybe some humor. “We know they stole money from the bank, we don’t know if the car is stolen or not.”
“If they would rob from a bank, why not steal a car? Or kill someone following them.” Cindy’s tone let Jeff know full well that the conversation was over and if he knew what was good for him, this chase would end as well. But financial stability was only a black Olds away.
The trip down the Interstate was only for three exits. Jeff maintained his distance but always keep the Oldsmobile in sight. However, because of the stoplight at the end of the off ramp Jeff and Cindy were now directly behind the car containing the bank’s money.
The thieves drove into a residential area. As they pulled into a driveway of a home with an unattached garage, the garage door opened, obviously from a garage door opener from inside the car. The thieves were safe at home.
“Get the address, Cindy, get the address and we’ll go to a pay phone and turn them in.”
“Jeff, don’t slow down, just go around the block and turn into the alley that goes behind the house.” Cindy seemed excited.
“Go, turn, just go!”
Around the corner and into the alley Jeff starts to bring the car to a stop. “Jeff, pull up behind the garage.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Just do it!”
Jeff stops the car behind the garage. “See, the garage itself blocks the view from the house.”
“Cindy, you didn’t want anything to do this and now you seem excited. We don’t need to be here. We need to get to a pay phone and call the cops.”
“Look Jeff. There is an old window in the back of the garage. If we are quiet they will never know that we are here.”
“What are you talking about?”
“We saw them walk into the house. They closed the garage door and they did not have the bags with them. The bags have to be in the garage.”
“What’s wrong with you? A reward would be what? Possibly a couple thousand dollars, we need a lot more than that to get out of debt. I bet there is much more than that in the back seat of that car.”
“What’s wrong with you? God don’t want us to steal.”
“Jeff does the money belong to the people we are taking it from?”
“That’s why God brought us here. We’ll take the money from the thieves, they will learn their lesson, we will get the money we need and the bank will have the money replaced by the FDIC.”
“Sweetheart, this is crazy.”
“Jeff, it ain’t stealing if the people we are taking it from don’t own it.”
“Are you sure you want…”
The passenger door closing ended the conversation. Jeff got out of the car and the two of them are now standing under the window. Cindy getting down on all fours tells Jeff, “Climb up on my back and go through the window.”
The usually talkative young man, without a word, puts one foot on his wife’s back, grabs the window sill, swings open the window, and is now half way in.
“Can you do it? Can you get in?” Cindy is the talkative one now. Jeff feels her push both his feet as he goes head first through the open window.
“Can you move?”
“Yes, I can move.”
“Then get the money and let’s get out of here.” Cindy whispers loudly,
Looking in the back seat there they were. Two large bags, Jeff also finds the car’s doors unlocked. Jeff thinks, “Guys in a hurry don’t think to lock doors. Man, I gotta get out of here.”
Jeff throws the bags through the window he came in. Cindy picks them up off the ground and throws them in the backseat of their vehicle and places herself into the driver seat of the pursuit vehicle turned getaway car.
Jeff uses the front bumper of the car to get out of the garage as he used his wife’s back to get in. After tumbling down on the grass behind the garage, Jeff jumps into the car, Cindy puts the car in drive and off they go.
Two hours later at the Peterson kitchen table the young couple finishes counting their new found fortune. “Look at this Sweetheart, $27,560! That’s enough to pay off all that we owe and almost enough for a down payment on a home. God has really blessed today!”
“I don’t know Jeff, maybe we should turn it in.”
“You are so wishy washy, always changing your mind.”
Knock, knock. “Jeff someone is at the door.”
“It can’t be opportunity. He already knocked today. I’ll get it.” Jeff was startled when he saw the three uniformed officers on the other side of the door.
The tallest of the three was the only one that spoke, “Mr. Peterson, Jeff Peterson?”
“Yes, Officer, that’s me.” The young man’s voice was shaken.
“Mr. Peterson. The First National Bank was robbed this morning and immediately after the thieves left the bank the guard ran outside and he reported seeing a car with your plates driving around the corner. We found that car out in front of this apartment. Would you mind if we have a look around?”
“Oh God no!” Were the only words Cindy could say as she stood there with a thousand dollars of twenties in her hand.
My name is Timothy Johnson. I am Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church of Kingman IN. I am also a correctional officer for the Federal BOP.
My wife's name is Julie and we have 4 grown children and 6 grandchildren.
My e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org