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I remember the hot summer afternoon when we discovered ice cream sandwiches in the bottom of the cooler at the corner store. They were ten cents a piece, a lot of money back in those years. The four of us boys pooled our money to buy just one and get a taste of the sweet chocolate graham crust and the melting vanilla ice cream inside. On that day we became hooked like a pillhead after drugs. Of cours money was almost non existant, allowances for doing chores was unheard of on our side of town. It didn't matterr if we were riding our bikes, playing ball, climbing trees, we talked about and dreamed of those soft creamy sandwiches. We searched the road sides for pop bottles because the store would give us two cents each for every one not broken. My dad worked noghts, coming home to join us for breakfast and then he would slip off to bed and crash till afternoon. When he came home one morning, i heard the jingle of change in his pants and ugly thoughts crept into my mind. That change was just what we needed to buy those delicious creamy snadwiches. All morning long i could think of nothing else but that change. I came back into the house and stood at his bedroom door listening for the sounds of him sleeping. He always hung his pants on a nail on the back of the door. I slipped quietly in and grabbed a handful of change and that made me the big man in the neighborhood. We ate like greedy pigs and i was a hero to my band of friends as we sat in the shade of the dcorner store. I told them it was my birthday money i had saved. That went on for two weeks and what a time it was. I had gotten good at slipping in and slipping out, then running to my buddies then to the store. One day i slipped in and there was no change in my dad's pocket so i felt for his wallet. i hestitated a moment then took out tow dollars and slipped out. I had gotten used to taking the change because i didn't think he would miss a few coins among the many his pocket had, but after i took the dollars made my face feel hot. Even before the ice cream was bought my stomach felt sick. The importance and joy i had felt buying my firends ice cream was gone that very afternoon. I realized i had just sunk pretty deep. If dad knew, he would kill me, but worse, he'd have that look in his eye, that disappointment he would get when did something wrong. I had taken money without his knowing it and i lied to my friends just for my own sake. I had stoen from my dad. Taking that two dollars was going to be hard to sit down at the supper table and face him with a guilty heart. Early that afternoon, the sun was up high and it was the hottest part of the day and i grabbed my fishing pole and walked down the tracks to the reservior, wishing my stomach would wuit aching and praying my dad didn't miss the money. As i sat there wishing i could put it all back i looked up and there stood my dad. My heart nearly sank. He was a big man with hands of steel and he was walking slow and like something was deeply on his mind. Athought i was just a little boy my dad taught me something about God. God will use your failures to show you how to right the wrongs if you will let him. As i watched him walking toward me i wasn't afraid, i was ashamed and it was heavy on my heart. I had hurt him, i had broken his trust in me, i had been disobeyed what i knew was wrong. I just sat there with watery tears in my eyes and stared at the water, as he sat down beside me and stared into the water to. After a few minutes he said, "Are they bitting son". I couldn't speak i was near crying and he deserved to have his son act with some dignity or at least i thought. We say there quietly, a bird singing nearby and I stuck out my chin as best I could, willing to take whatever beating he thought I needed, if he would only forgive me. Silence was all there was for a few moments then he said something I will never forget. "Son, I've known since the first day you took the money. Each time after you slipped out of the house I watched you run to the store where you friends were waiting and sat outside side and eat your ice cream. I didn't say anything because i wanted to let you find the wrong and come and tell me yourself. It hurt me that you would steal from me, but it hurt me more for you not to tell me. Son you can always come to me when you've done wrong. I love you and with that he reached out his hand not to strike me but to pull me close to hug me. I cried so hard and as I cried, my dad told me that i had taught myself a lesson that would remain with me for all my life. God see's what we do, we can never hide anything from him. When we sin it hurt him but what hurts him more is we will not go to him and ask for forgiveness. His love is unfailing. If you walk away he looks for you like a shepherd looks for his stray. Sometimes we can sin so long that in our own eyes we don't know how return to God. Maybe our sin seems so big we simply can't face him. Our betrayal of his love, our utter failure where we promised devotion makes us feel unworthy of him. Jesus said, come to me all ye that is tired and heavy burdened and I will give you rest. Cast your troubles upon me and remember them no more. He is waiting for millions to do just that.