This morning Marlene and I were going through some of my old books. I pulled a German book from the shelf that was printed in 1896. It was a collection of youth stories written by S. B. Shaw emphasizing the value of prayer. She had me read one of the stories and I thought it would be fun to share my translation of it with you. This story teaches the value of being honest when dealing with our children.

A young lad was told by his mother not to play on some nearby sand dunes. “A bear once attacked and tore a child playing there,” she said. One day a playmate asked him to go play in the sand with him. “I can’t,” the first boy said, “I am scared of the bears.” “There are no bears in the dunes,” the lad replied. “Oh yes there are. My mama said so.”

As they were debating the preacher happened to walk by. They decided to ask him. “No,” the preacher replied, “There are no bears.” “But,” the first lad said, “My mother told me there were.”

“I am very sad that your mother told you so,” the preacher answered, “But there are no bears.”

The young lad started crying and ran straight home to his mother. “O Mamachen,” he called, “Did you tell me a lie?” Did you tell me there were bears in the dunes when there actually were none?”

The mother admitted her wrong but said she had told him so for fear that he would get lost in the dunes.

“But Mamaschen, it is so wrong to tell a lie.”

“I know it, Tommy, I know it,” she replied, with tears in her eyes. “We will now asked our loving Lord to forgive me and I won’t ever do it again.”

As they knelt together to pray, Tommy suddenly called out “Wait Mamachen, let me pray. You might neglect to tell the Lord the whole truth.”