Sitting at the edge of the garbage dump, Mike let the coins run through his fingers. He’d never seen so much money. Mike Young, a hardworking garbage collector, had stopped at the house of Mrs. Stella Jones earlier that day and carted off boxes of rubbish. The woman had been spring cleaning and was happy to see all the junk disappear into Mike’s truck. In the evening, while unloading the boxes and bags he’d collected, he noticed a silver paint can. It was heavy and jingled when shaken. Prying open the lid, Mike had found rolls of bills and piles of coins. This came from the Jones house, he remembered. Jumping into his truck, he hurried back to the old woman’s street. She gasped when she saw the can in the collector’s outstretched hands. «That’s my life savings,» she cried. «I’d have suffered terribly if you hadn’t returned this.»
Years passed. Mike forgot all about the can and the money. One day an important-looking envelope showed up in his mailbox. The document inside summoned him to appear before a lawyer in town. Mike’s hand trembled. What had he done that was so terrible?
«Did you return a can of money to Mrs. Stella Jones?» asked the man behind the big wooden desk.
«Yes,» Mike responded, only now remembering the incident. «Is there something wrong?» The lawyer smiled. «Mrs. Jones died recently. Being childless, she left her home»—he passed a signed document across the desk—»to you.» Sometimes people have to wait until Jesus comes to receive a reward for kindness. And sometimes not.