September 17, 2021
A cop's teenage son breaks the police station window to impress his friends but his act has an unexpected outcome.
Pete Ryan was a bit of a boaster. He wanted to be the center of attention, and he'd do anything to impress his friends, especially the Garrow twins -- Lana and Laura. Pete's dad was a policeman, a detective in the town's police force.
Pete liked to boast that he knew everything that went on and that he had a lot of influence in the police department. He didn't of course, his dad never spoke about his work at home, but Pete would wink mysteriously and hint at privileged information.
One day Pete was talking about a spate of break-ins that had a lot of people worried, hinting that he knew who the criminals were when Lana Garrow said, "Oh, please, I don't believe you know a thing about it! I saw the detective in charge of the investigation on TV and it's not your dad!"
"You don't know anything!" cried Pete angrily. "I know more than you think! I'm tight with the guys at the station!"
"RIGHT!" cried Laura Garrow, with a snide giggle. "You're a big man in law enforcement!"
"Yeah..." her twin sneered, "you couldn't even get yourself arrested." Unfortunately, right at that moment, the three teens were walking past the police station, and on impulse, Pete picked up a stone.
"Arrested? No one would arrest me, OK," he shouted. "I can do whatever I want in this city. WATCH!" and he threw the stone at the station house's huge front window. There was a sickening smashing sound, and the window shivered to pieces.
Pete said arrogantly. "You'll see, they won't do anything to me." But seconds later, a swarm of uniformed policemen was outside. Pete stood his ground, but the Garrow twins ran away. Soon Pete was sitting opposite his dad.
Sometimes our actions can bring unexpected consequences.
"What happened, Pete?" he asked. "What on earth possessed you to do a foolish thing like that?"
Pete squirmed. "Well... It was a dare, kind of..."
"A dare?" Pete's father was furious. "Do you realize you could have hurt someone? It's time you took responsibility for your actions, Pete!"
Pete's dad paid for the window, but he decided to teach his son a lesson. He and the Police Captain agreed that Pete would be doing community service at the local soup kitchen every day for the rest of the summer.
Pete was not happy about it at all. "I'll be dishing out soup for drifters and winos all summer?" he cried angrily.
"The people who come to the soup kitchen are hungry, lonely, and afraid, Pete," his dad said quietly. "They are people like you and me, who had bad luck, remember that."
Pete hated that soup kitchen, and he grumbled continually while he served the people who came in for their meals. This didn't escape Carla, the soup kitchen manager who scolded him about it.
"Pete, these people have a hard enough life without having to listen to you complain. Try smiling, please."
Pete went back to his post angrier than ever. He put a bowl of soup and a plate of meatloaf and mash on a tray and looked up at the person holding it. He gasped. It was Danny, one of his friends from school!
What on earth was Danny doing eating at a soup kitchen? Pete handed the blushing Danny his tray and smiled. "Good to see you man," he said, and Danny smiled back shyly.
Pete went to Carla and explained the situation quickly. He took off his apron, picked up a tray, and joined Danny at his table. He was horrified to discover that the 15-year-old was on his own.
It turned out that his parents had abandoned him with a note telling him they were moving to Alaska and telling him to take care of himself. They left him $100. Danny cried into his soup. "I can't pay the rent, Pete, I'm going to be on the streets."
"No you're not," said Pete firmly. "I'm going to talk to my dad."
Pete called his dad who called Child Protection and Social Services. They decided they would try to contact Danny's grandparents to see if they could take him in.
So that Danny wouldn't go into foster care, Pete's dad took him in and he moved in with Pete and his family. Pete's dad gave his son a hug. "I'm proud of you, son," he said. "Despite that window incident."
Pete grinned. "Listen, dad, if I hadn't broken that window and you hadn't punished me, Danny would have been on the streets tonight, instead of upstairs."
"God works in mysterious ways, Pete," his father said. "But don't you dare misbehave again!"
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