The Worth Of A Single Strawberry


The stairs to her neighbor’s house seemed to go on forever for the little girl. And although her Dad was holding her tiny six-year old hand, the ascent up those numberless stairs seemed so scary and forbidding. With her Father at her side, she reached up to ring the doorbell. She could barely hold the tears back as the front door swung open. There he stood, Mr. Hoffmaster. He seemed to fill the entire doorway. If only, the little girl thought. If only I hadn’t done it, I wouldn’t be standing here. Her mind raced back to the week before.

The Hoffmaster’s were her next door neighbors. They had been on vacation the week before. The little girl liked them. So what she had to confess that day to Mr. Hoffmaster was made even more difficult because they had always been so nice to her. She looked up at her Father and he nodded for her to proceed.

“While you were gone I…I ate a Strawberry out of your garden. I’m sorry.”

There, she said it. Her eyes started to fill with tears. Mr. Hoffmaster thanked her for being honest and accepted her apology. The little six year old felt such a burden lift as the door closed and she turned to go back home. Her father was still holding her hand as they walked. She looked up at him and was glad that he had encouraged her to tell what she had done. She felt good about herself. She felt good that she had confessed. But most of all, she felt good about her Dad.

My wife never forgot the lesson she learned that day from her father concerning right and wrong, consequences, and owning up for your actions. What is the worth of one single strawberry? That depends! For my wife, the lesson was incalculable; courtesy of a loving Father, who took the time to teach that stealing one strawberry is not about worth, but about values.

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