“But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.” Matthew 25:18
The inspector waited determinedly as he rang the door bell a third time. He knew someone was home because he could hear the faint sound of one of those noxious courtroom shows on a TV. While standing there it crossed his mind that he should just sit down in one of the white wicker chairs arranged so invitingly on the porch and simply wait the guy out. The home, like all the homes in this newer pastel painted neighborhood, with its neatly manicured landscaping and freshly mown lawn indicated its owner was attentive to all the necessary upkeep.
Suddenly the door opened. The man standing there looked like an everyman, no unusual features. The inspector got right down to business. He introduced himself, flashed his ID and asked “Are you Mr. Talent, Mr. One Talent?” The man nodded his head reluctantly “Yes . . .what do you want?”
“I have been hired by your employer the Celestial Investment Firm to investigate the disappearance of hundreds of thousands of dollars in investment earnings. This loss has had a devastating affect on the life savings of many small investors. Some have even lost their homes. Is it true that you were entrusted with the management of an account valued at over one million dollars?” “I was, but I did not want the responsibility.”
“Wait a minute, wasn’t that your job? Weren’t you employed with the express purpose of helping individuals directed to you by your firm to manage and grow their assets?” “Yes, but Celestial never gave me any of the big accounts, I always got the little, Mom and Pop savers who did not have much to invest. It made for a lot of extra work for me. Besides the sum of all my investment accounts didn’t even come near to matching the other two guys in my division. The other two brokers always got the big buck investors and their account load was up to five times greater than mine. It wasn’t fair.”
The inspector continued “Was it fair that you refused to do anything for all those people who were counting on you to help them?” “Was it fair that the increase that easily could have been theirs failed to materialize? Was it fair that in reality they lost out because of your negligence?”
“I wasn’t negligent! Celestial could have stepped in at any time and helped those people out. They knew what was going on. Celestial can do anything it wants. They don’t need me. They could have put someone else on those accounts at any time but didn’t.”
The inspector’s ire was rising. “Wait a minute, they were your accounts! The care of those people was entrusted to you! Why did you bury their money? Why in the world did you bury one million dollars rather than put it in a bank and at least draw minimum interest? It doesn’t make sense! And while we are on the subject – where did you bury all that money?”
“To be honest I didn’t give burying the money much thought. At the time I was preoccupied with the finishing details of this house and getting everything ready for the closing date. I had stopped by the house to talk to the contractor and noticed the yard was being graded in preparation for the sod the next day. Then I just had this thought out of the blue. ‘I’m going to come over here late tonight and bury the money right here in the front yard. They are putting the sod in tomorrow and no one will ever know.’ That way I could keep an eye on it and wouldn’t have to worry about it anymore. That freed me to get on with the excitement of moving into our new house. Celestial financed the house by the way. We got a great interest rate.”
The inspector just shook his head. “Mr. Talent, you wicked, lazy, worthless excuse for a broker, how could you just persist in serving your self when you had so much potential and opportunity to serve and make a difference in the lives of others? I just don’t understand it. You can be sure you will be hearing from Celestial. Good day sir!
With that the inspector turned, walked down the porch steps and tromped right out to the middle of the front lawn. He paused there for a moment, shook his head again in wonderment and then crossed from there to his car.