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Caches of bicycles and baseball caps

A Christian Science perspective on daily life.

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This has been the summer of the big bicycle find in Toronto. Every day a couple of weeks ago, the collection of handlebars, spokes, and frames multiplied as police raids uncovered new caches of stolen bikes. Last count was 2,800 bikes, mostly found in overstuffed garages all over the city.

The good news is that many Torontonians have flocked to police warehouses and have been reunited with their missing bikes.

Petty theft in big cities is a substantial thorn in the side of law enforcement agencies. One might say that the police, in tackling too frequent cases of theft, need "the wisdom of Solomon." Many might not realize that this well-worn phrase has a biblical basis. Solomon was the king of Israel and was well known for his ability to find answers to hard questions.

One of the most famous theft cases he solved was an attempted baby theft. Two women were brought before him, both claiming to be the mother of the same child. After some consideration, Solomon proposed a rather horrific solution. He requested a sword to cut the child in two. Solomon's suggestion, perhaps motivated by his knowledge of the qualities of motherhood, was terrifying to one of the women. She quickly chose to give up the baby rather than have him killed, revealing her identity as the real mother. This, and many such solutions, confirmed for Solomon's people "that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment" (I Kings 3:28).

This same judgment is ours to use in situations both big and small. One morning a schoolteacher stood on an empty Toronto playground with two young boys, one claiming that the other had just stolen his baseball cap. This was not the first cap to disappear. In fact, so many caps had gone missing that the teachers had begun to check the students' knapsacks at dismissal.


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