Sunday I was going through mail and I came across two letters that I had set aside to make a decision on. The letters were identical, except one was addressed to me and one addressed to my ex-husband. They were from an insurance company. I had opened mine and it was a letter saying they had refund money on a policy from 2003 and if I didn't respond, that money would go into the governments "unclaimed money" account or wherever it is they keep it.
I had put the letters aside because I needed time to think. The last time I had been insured by that company was when I was married. At some point, I learned that my ex had canceled the insurance on my vehicle without me knowledge, even though he was supposed to be to paying all bills. I don't remember the details, I just remember that this particular company refused to insure me despite my clean driving record, and refused to given me any additional information because the policy had been originally taken out by my ex. I was still legally his wife, but that didn't matter. I also remember scrambling to find insurance on a Saturday. I don't remember how many calls I made, but I finally found an office that was open. I am still with that insurer, out of loyalty, because he kept his office open on Saturday and was there in my moment of crisis.
My ex was just like that. I could tell you story after story. He is still like that. I ask him for very little help with my daughter because he usually says no. The latest was regarding her health insurance. I emailed him and asked him to keep her policy current until I could make other arrangements. I said that I would reimburse him for it. He responded by saying that she (our daughter) was young and healthy and there were more important things like school, and vehicle repairs to spend money on. He added that if she was injured in a car accident, her car insurance would cover any medical bills. And, if I insisted on getting her health insurance, I could feel free to contact the carrier directly, their information was on her card. And I am not making this up. This is almost verbatim.
Enough about him, back to me. I needed to think about those two letters because I figured I had several options. 1)I could forward his letter to him so he could claim the money. 2) I could claim the money myself and he would never be the wiser. 3) I could tear up my letter and throw his away, or better yet, return it to the sender. We have been divorced for over 5 years and I am certainly not responsible for him getting this letter. In fact, I don't believe he deserves that money. And if I claimed it, I could give that money to my daughter or apply it toward her dental or eye appointment...or any other number of things that she needs...not wants...but needs. You can probably imagine where my thought process went.
So there I was on Sunday night. I decided to make a decision. I decided that I would claim the money and somehow use it for my daughter. I filled out my name on the form. I signed it. Right below my signature I had to fill in another blank indicating why I had the right to this money. Was I the owner? The spouse? At first, I decided to leave that blank. After all, there was a date four months after my divorce was final. I didn't know what that date indicated...the date they stopped trying to refund the money? The date the policy was cancelled? I couldn't say owner because I didn't know which vehicle this policy/refund was for...his or mine. I couldn't say spouse because I would have been divorced by that month. I contemplated saying ex-spouse but then I figured I wouldn't get the refund for sure.
I finally decided that I would fill that blank in as "Owner". I wrote the words, sealed the enveloped and put it in a pile of other letters and bills to be mailed, satisfied that I would be getting some unexpected money in a few weeks.
And then I thought of that date...four months after my marriage was decreed invalid and I was no longer legally entitled to anything owned by my ex-husband. I picked up my envelope, crying out of anger and frustration and resentment and need and a myriad of other emotions. I ripped it in half...again and again...until there were only small shreds of paper left.
And I picked up his envelope...the one that I knew would give him an unexpected blessing and I wrote a note on the back explaining that I had received the exact same letter but that I thought this belonged to him. His name was the only salutation. The initial of my first name was the only closing regard. And I folded his envelope and put it into another. Writing his address clearly and placing two stamps on it to make sure there would be no insufficient postage problems. And I placed it in the pile of letters and bills that I would drop at the post office the next morning.
And I did this for one reason. Not because my ex is most likely entitled to this money and I am not. Not because I love my ex, because I do not. Not because I am a good, honest person, although I try to be. Not because of karma. Not because I expect to be rewarded for doing the right thing. Not because I am a Christian. Not because I thought it might be sin. Not because I am afraid God wouldn't forgive me. Not because I am strong enough to resist temptation, I often fail.
I almost took a bite of that forbidden fruit. I could taste it. I wanted it. The only reason I didn't was because I love God...I really do love Him. I love Him more than I want that money. More than I want revenge or justice. And when I thought of Him, my hand reached out and put the fruit back on the tree.
Image taken from here.