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A family-owned supply store in western Pennsylvania recently received an envelope filled with cash from an anonymous thief who confessed to stealing a hammer a decade ago, and seeking to make restitution. The unsigned letter dated December 6 read,” I knew it was wrong, but I did it anyway. Enclosed in $45 to cover the hammer plus a little extra for interest. I’m sorry I stole it, but have changed my ways.”

Lynne Gramling, who owns Central Contractors Supply Co with her father, says plenty of merchandise has disappeared since the family bought the store 50 years ago, but this is the first time anyone has ever paid for a stolen item. Gramling took the money to a nearby shopping mall, where her father was volunteering as a Salvation Army bell ringer. She said, “I went up and dropped the money in his kettle.” Adding that the money was “really a lot more than a hammer would cost.” When asked about the anonymous thief, Gramling commented, ”He was very generous.”

--Anonymous thief pays for stolen hammer, decades later, http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6BJ51R20101220; December 20, 2010, Illustration by Jim L. Wilson and Jim Sandell.

Colossians 3:8 (HCSB) But now you must also put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth.

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