“Honest Gabe,” Friend, May 2015, 8–9
Gabe was in the kitchen, but he could hear Mrs. Cole at the front door talking with Mom. “I don’t know how it happened! I just noticed little scratches all over my car door, and they weren’t there this morning.”
Gabe’s heart sank. He hadn’t meant to mess up Mrs. Cole’s car. He’d been playing in the dirt next to Mrs. Cole’s driveway. He was just drawing in the dirt with a stick. But soon he found himself using the stick to draw lines up and down on the back door of the car, fascinated with how the tiny lines looked in the paint. He thought they’d go away if he just brushed over them with his hand—like the lines he made in the dirt—but they didn’t.
Gabe heard the door shut as Mom walked outside to see the scratches. He had to think fast—there wasn’t much time.
He ran upstairs to his room, shut the door, and plopped onto his bed. He closed his eyes and felt his heart thumping. Slowly he lifted his head. He glanced at the photo of Grandma on his bookcase. He was glad she didn’t know what he had done. Grandma was always honest and had taught him to be honest too. When she was young, she decided she would never tell a lie so that others would always believe her.
Slowly Gabe slid off the bed and walked over to Grandma’s picture. He wanted to be someone people could believe too. He pulled out his jar of coins. He’d been doing extra chores to earn money for a toy he really wanted. If he told the truth, he’d have to give up the money he’d saved to help fix the car.
Gabe wanted to be honest, but he didn’t want to get in trouble. He didn’t want Mom and Mrs. Cole to be mad at him. Besides, no one had seen him scratch the car. He could just say he didn’t know what happened. But that thought made him squirm inside. He knew that even though no one had seen him, Heavenly Father and Jesus knew. He couldn’t lie to Them. He didn’t want to lie to Them.
He slowly walked down the stairs to the front door. He heard his mom outside asking his older brother if he knew what had happened to the car. Gabe straightened his shoulders and stepped outside.
Mom turned as he walked toward her. “Gabe? Do you know how Mrs. Cole’s car got scraped up?”
Gabe took a deep breath and said, “I did it. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt your car.”
Mom put her hand on Gabe’s shoulder. “Thank you for being honest,” she said quietly.
She turned to Mrs. Cole and said, “We’re so sorry Gabe scraped up your car. We’ll pay for the damage.”
“I’ll help earn the money,” Gabe said quickly.
He thought about the hard-earned money in the jar on his dresser. He wished he’d never picked up that stick. But he also felt relieved. It hadn’t been easy, but he had been honest! Gabe knew Grandma would be proud. And Heavenly Father would be happy too.