A Warrant for My Arrest

A Lamplighter Moment from Mark Hamby

Would you believe me if I told you that I once received a warrant for my arrest?

When my daughter Jennifer was 19, my name was on her car registration. Because she did not pay a parking ticket a year prior, the penalty was incarceration–for the vehicle owners!

As I read the warrant letter, it suddenly dawned on me that my speaking engagement the next day could have a slight change in venue–I might be speaking in prison! Pondering what to do, I realized that Jennifer just needed to go to the courthouse and pay the fine–immediately!

“Jennifer,” I asked, “did you forget to pay a parking ticket?”

“No” was her response.

“Well, there’s a warrant for our arrest. Tomorrow they are going to come and take us both to jail unless you pay this fine.”

Handing her the paper she looked at it as if it was a joke and said, “Yeah, right.”

Back and forth we went, both convinced that the other was wrong. To make matters worse, Jen looked at me after I demanded that she admit wrong, and said, “Dad, read my lips!” And her mother was backing her!

Realizing that I was facing hostile enemy fire, it was time to retreat. But one thing was certain–I wasn’t going to jail! So I called the number on the warrant and asked if I could come by and pay the ticket.

“Ma’am, I’ll bring a check right down,” I quickly offered. “How much do I owe?”

She said, “Can you give me the violation number again?” I did, and she said, “Sir, there has been some kind of mistake. This ticket was paid for.”

“That’s impossible! Check it again please.”
As I walked back in the house on my knees, I learned a valuable lesson that day. I realized that the real me is who I am when facing personal loss, failure, or shame. Once again I came face to face with the truth that, “Only by pride comes contention, but with the well advised is wisdom” (Proverbs 13:10).

Mark’s favorite book of the day!

Parable of the Two Millstones
In the home of a rich merchant, two hard heads with fiery tempers abide. Like the age-old story of the Prodigal Son, the distress that comes with stubborn pride gives way to a softening of heart. Though God often leads His children in mysterious paths, it is always for their good. The Parable of the Two Millstones illustrates just how powerful the gift of forgiveness can be.