We lived in a little East Texas town with a population of about twelve hundred for a couple of years. While we were there, my husband let me plant roses to my heart’s content, and I enjoyed taking care of them.
We were going to Nebraska for a long weekend, so I made sure to water all the roses the last thing before we left. Four days later, we drove back down the street to our house and noticed a lot of water in the ditch by the road. “That’s strange.”
“Did you leave the water running?” my husband asked me.
“No.” Surely not!
Oh but I did. I left the hose running for four days straight!
The next day a man from the city stopped by our house and said that they noticed we had used a lot more water than usual so he was going to check to see if there was a leak. Embarrassed, I admitted that I accidentally left the water on while we were gone for the weekend. He told me it was going to cost me a lot of money.
“I tell you what,” he said. “Just go down to the city hall and tell them there was a leak. They’ll ask me, and I’ll vouch for you. I’ll tell them it was a leak.”
I don’t remember what I said to the guy, but how I wanted to go along with his plan! It would have been so easy, but it wasn’t right. I knew it. My husband knew it. God knew it. And the water guy also knew it was a lie. So I went down to the city building and paid the bill, all $500 of it! I still cringe when I think of it.
OUCH! I’m sure that was a hard check to write, but you had integrity…..;)
I know this isn’t the point of the story, but I am SO glad that we don’t have to pay for water!!! Thank goodness for the country life!
You are a much better person than me, Esther. I would have gone along with the ruse. Just sayin’… cuz I’m honest like that. 😉
Elizabeth Grimes says
LOL! Oh, that is SO something I would do!!! Glad I’m not the only one. I feel your pain. I’ve had to race back to the house because I remembered I left the oven on, candles burning…gosh, it’s a wonder my house is still standing.
Oh my!!!! Does he still let you plant roses to your heart’s content?
I did same thing while we were engaged…flooded (and ruined)the tile kitchen floor while filling sink with bleach/water in my husband’s owner completion townhome (that means he laid that tile himself!) He married me anyway…and still lets me clean the house 🙂
Sarita Edgerton says
Great story of doing what is right when it is hard! That $500 cost you a lot less than the cheaper bill/lie would have!
I have found myself in this position many times. Doing the right thing can be humbling. It is a good feeling to know when you stand before the Lord it will be with your chin up and your head held high.
I hope you will link this post tomorrow to Women of Noble Character. What a wonderful example you are to your children and so many others. I still remember my mom going back in the store to pay for a pack of gum she inadvertently walked out with and not paying for. I was 7 and it made quite an impression on me.
God bless you, Esther!
Kim @ Stuff could... says
You did exactly the right thing! Proud of you even though it hurt with the dollars….
Oh my goodness. God will bless you for your obedience if he hasn’t already!
Ive been reading your blog for a bit, first time commenting and I wanted to say, good for you! I hope that if I were ever in a situation like that I would pay the bill as well. In the end it will all be reviled.
Great example for the children to tell the truth and pay the consequences for your actions!
my hubby left the hose on overnite last week… i thought that was bad. will definitely be seeing a higher bill! good for you with the honesty, God will use that to bless you in life, and like many have said, a great example for your children!
Oh my word! $500!! I’ve given back money a few times when I’ve been given too much change, but $500 is a big pill to swallow.
Oh, you know what, I just remembered that I lost $6000 by being honest…about 10 years ago we declared bankruptcy because of a failed business (fortunately we had no assets other than the business, and very little consumer debt so the loss was all business-related). My grandmother died a few months afterwards, and I inherited $8000, but you are supposed to claim any monetary gain within that first 6 months. Our lawyer told us not to tell the judge, my family members encouraged me not to, but I just couldn’t be dishonest like that and feel good about it. So we claimed it. Our lawyer convinced the judge to allow us to keep $2000 of it. Even though I feel good that I did the right thing, I still feel a little ill to know that I lost my grandparents’ hard-earned money.
Ow! Yeah, that bites. When the city guy showed up I would have thought, “If only you came after the first day!” Way to go, though! At least you can tell the story afterwards…if you’d lied you never would have been able to share it! lol.
We had a bill like that one time because THE HORSE turned on the faucet when we were on vacation. It had a bucket over it and we were sure a person must have done it until we actually saw the too smart horse do it. Not much to do with your story, but I just thought of it. I’m proud of you, by the way.
Thinking more about this post and being tempted…very thought provoking…that kind of lying doesn’t often appeal and tempt me. Too risky and blatant I guess (for me anyway). It is those other more subtle forms of lying that appeal to my craftiness…usually the ones that would allow me to manipulate with or without words. Thank God my sins are forgiven 🙂
CeCe Hester says
Good for you girlfriend! I don’t even know you but that makes me feel sooo good about the human race! Thank you for doing the right thing and being an example!