I’m back with the conclusion of the “Mystery Diner” whodunit! If you missed the first part of the story, be sure to check out my last post. Here’s a quick recap of the story. Two restaurant owners noticed that someone was stealing from them in their diner. The stealing began right around the same time that they had hired an ex-convict as a waiter, wanting to give him another chance at a job and a new life. The restaurant owners were concerned that the disappearance of their money was connected to the ex-convict, and that their display of kindness to the ex-con was backfiring on them.
So, the restaurant owners brought in the TV show “Mystery Diners” to send in their undercover operatives to find out what was truly going on behind the scenes of their diner. On D-day, multiple surveillance cameras were set up all throughout the diner, and fake employees went on duty at the diner. From within a room in a building next door to the diner, the two restaurant owners sat with the host of “Mystery Diners” to see what would unfold within the walls of their beloved restaurant. Much to their surprise, from the surveillance footage, the restaurant owners came to find out that the ex-convict was in fact not stealing from the diner at all! He was actually working quite honorably and uprightly, much to the elation of the restaurant owners.
Unfortunately, that feeling of elation was quickly replaced with a feeling of disgust and regret as the two restaurant owners continued to watch the surveillance footage. It turned out that another employee, their most trusted, was the real culprit behind the disappearance of the diner’s money. One would have never guessed it from simply looking at the girl. She was a pretty, young, sweet looking person who obviously put on a good façade. However, this girl was caught on camera stealing multiple times in one day. And, to top it all off, when the girl was confronted with questions about the missing money, she blamed everything on the ex-convict.
The girl screamed out in a horribly outlandish way that the ex-con had done jail time, and that he was the one that should be questioned about the theft. The girl was completely throwing her fellow employee under the bus by unjustly accusing him, and adamantly denying any charge against her. Meanwhile, the ex-convict stood humbly silent as his fellow employee berated and humiliated him in front of customers and other employees at the diner.
Finally, the diner owners could take no more of what they were witnessing on the cameras. They immediately had the ex-convict and the girl brought into the room where the surveillance footage was being viewed. Then, the two owners revealed to the girl what was going on behind the scenes, and what they had seen her do on the secret camera footage. And, even in the face of what had just been exposed, the girl continued to obstinately and outrageously deny any questionable acts on her part. Unbelievably, she continued to accuse the ex-con of the theft.
This despicable display of lack of repentance by the girl repulsed the restaurant owners even more, until they finally demanded to see what was inside the fanny pack that the girl had been wearing the whole day. Then, and only then, because she was caught with no way out, did the girl finally admit she had taken the money. And, as expected, the stolen money was found in the girl’s fanny pack and she was immediately fired. The two restaurant owners then turned to the ex-convict to praise him for his loyalty to them and the diner, and for honoring them by acting uprightly in the difficult situations that had been thrown his way.
But, it was what the ex-convict said in response to this whole scenario that really spoke to my heart. In essence, he basically explained the heartfelt, enormous appreciation that he felt towards the two restaurant owners for taking him in, and for giving him a job and a second chance at life. He told them that in light of their kindness, he couldn’t repay them with anything other than thanks and a good work ethic. He relayed that he was so grateful for their confidence in him that he wouldn’t ever do anything to hurt them after the compassion that they had shown him. Wow! What an incredibly humble response after all the accusations that had been hurled his way!
The restaurant owners present to us a perfect picture of how much God loves us. God constantly shows us abounding mercy, U Love, and graciousness, even in the face of our flaws and mistakes, just like those restaurant owners did with the ex-convict. God is always ready to give us chance after chance after chance. He is always looking to restore us and overlook our offenses, because He is perfect in the forgiving quality of U Love. We also know that this is how God wants us to treat each other. That kind of U Love should elicit a response of gratitude while changing one’s heart (as it did in the ex-convict). Perhaps you feel the same about this. And, as we’ve mentioned so many times in our blog, we should always try to show everyone U Love. It does make a difference in people’s lives! Those two restaurant owners made a difference by showing the ex-con much U Love! I’m sure God is smiling down on them, and the ex-convict, too.
You see, when the ex-convict was shown such love and grace, despite the wrong he had done in his past, his heart was so grateful for the undeserved kindness, that he WANTED to live right and act honorably. So it is with God. When we fully understand God’s U Love, mercy, and kindness towards us, no matter what we’ve done, we’ll be so thankful for His display of graciousness that we’ll naturally want to live better and do right by God and others. It won’t feel like work, because we’ll desire to live honorably in gratitude for the unmerited love being shown to us by God.
God is not a harsh taskmaster with an iron fist as some tend to view Him. His gentle love draws us to Him and naturally changes us to live better day after day. Out of this flows U Love. I am eternally grateful to God for His U Love for me, so much so that I want to show others the same kindness that God shows me. How about you? Will you join me by accepting God’s compassionate U Love and freely passing it on to others? And, by the way, bravo to the restaurant owners and the ex-convict on their inspirational attitudes during that entire show!
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