Cookies, Trust, Fraud and Forgiveness

17 03 2013

As you may have heard or seen on KATU and other local Portland news that a Girl Scout troop mom got hoaxed on a giant order of cookies.  My daughters are in those troops.  And the whole thing became very surreal to me.  

During the past week as my wife kept me updated on what was happening, I had some feelings about this hoax.  I was first agitated that a person would even do this to young girls.  From time to time people will place orders and not pay for cookies, but not on the scale that this person ordered.  But over the years in my own experience in retail sales, fraud and lies find their way into business, even those that adhere to the rules.  

Having married a Girl Scout, I understand that trust is one of the biggest values that is taught to a Scout.  My wife has taught me more about being truthful and trustful than any book or church sermon.  So when someone does something so deceitful to a group, especially young children, you wonder HOW the group or person will act.  

Considering how many people’s comments on news websites about this hoax are very supportive of the troop, there are just as many that are built on fear and “they have no street smarts/ common sense” ideas.   I’ve just come to accept that there are people who THINK that they are doing good when they make comments that are hindsight.  There is the old saying that hindsight is 20/20.  Perhaps people who make those kind of comments need to learn a bit more about self control themselves and really read their post before pushing “publish”. 

I had to witness the line of people at the sale on the internet.  My wife had to go out of town with our teen girl scout for an event for their troop and I chose to stay here at home because I didn’t see the need for me to go.  There were enough volunteers to help the girls.   I sat there seeing people who are not associated with the troop showing up on a Saturday at a location that really is hard to get to and buying as an act of kindness.   I felt I was watching a real life Hallmark movie.  It felt so surreal.   

Saturday evening watching the full article on KATU I felt so much love for these girls.  That people understood that the person who made this horrible joke on the troop was not going to have their way.   That the girls got a second chance to earn the points for camp. 

Then I went back to reading postings on sites.  Those that posting that the hoax really was being done by the mom in the troop just because they didn’t make the troops sales goals. The postings that were founded on ignorance on how the cookie sales work.  I honestly felt that my family was under attack.  

Then I remembered one small part of the news articles that didn’t get the attention of the “far right fear mongers”.  The mom who took the order forgave the person who did the hoax.  Yes, she FORGAVE the person. Check it out, it’s there in the articles but you might just miss it because we don’t look for forgiveness.   There was no reason given to the media WHY the person did the fake order in the first place. According to the person who took the order, when she spoke to this person “wanted to help the girls out” but upon asking about not paying, the person didn’t think it would be that big of a deal if payment wasn’t done. According to my source, this is not the first time this person has done something of this nature.
I’m not sure if the media doesn’t find this part of the story worth talking about, or that it would be considered deformation of character, and please understand I’m only realting what information I have. But to make this all good it takes forgiveness. Unconditional forgiveness. This is where I saw the Kingdom of Jesus happen.    It takes courage these days to forgive when so many people would want some kind of revenge.  Thank you for forgiving. 

This is where I find that real justice has been done by Jesus’ Father!  

Look at what happened.  All these people who don’t personally know our troop came out to help. To show this joker that what you did was wrong. Saying that “you did this to the least of these and so you did it to God.”  

What I saw now over these past two days was what is promised by Jesus.   The Spirit of Love stepped in and defeated the trickster, the liar, and WON!  

My hope is that we can all forgive each other for mistakes, poorly timed jokes, and even those things that lead to death.  My hope to is that the person who did this hoax can learn to forgive themselves and to never do this again.  That is what Jesus would tell her to do.  That is what I’m telling this person.  

I’m not mad at the person who started this.  I am grateful to all those who came to support the troops.  I am also grateful to all those who purchase the cookies during the regular sales. You do support a wonderful organization.  

My greatest hope though is that everyone, from the parents of the troop, to the leaders of the troop and to the Girl Scouts of America, that we can really learn the lesson of grace and love that pours out of the Divinely human heart.  

This bit of scripture that came to mind and seems even more fitting in this situation, especially since we are about to enter into the season of resurrection/ Easter  :  

“Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

 Hey, Jesus said this, not me.  

My hope is that we all can do this same thing.  

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