The Best Treasure in the Whole World


Shawn stared at the cracked picture frame lying on the floor. He knew that he shouldn’t have been tossing his football in the house. He certainly hadn’t meant for the ball to hit the picture of Grandma and Grandpa and knock it off the table.

Mother was going to be upset when she saw it. She always dusted the frame carefully and placed it carefully on the table. It was a very special picture to her. Grandma had given it to her when Grandpa died. Grandpa had made the frame himself. The more Shawn thought about what he’d done, the worse he felt.

He put the frame back on the table, stood back, and squinted. He could still see the ugly black line running through the carved side of the frame. He knew that it wasn’t possible, but the line seemed to be growing bigger and blacker.

No one had seen him kick the ball or break the frame. No one else knew he had broken the family’s rule about playing ball in the house. Only he knew how the frame had been broken. But he did know—and Heavenly Father knew too.

Shawn could hear Mother out in the garden, pulling weeds and singing. “She won’t be singing when she sees this,” he said to himself.

He knew what he should do, but he didn’t want to make Mother unhappy.

He liked to hear her sing. He liked to see her smile and hear her happy voice. Shawn knew that when she found out what he had done, she wouldn’t be singing or smiling or saying happy words.

“I guess I’d better get it over with,” he said to himself as he walked through the house and out the back door to the garden. “Mom, can we talk about something?”

“Sure. What’s up. Shawn?”

He hung his head. “I don’t think you are going to like me very much any more. I did something awful.”

She pulled him down to sit by her in the garden. “What ever you have done, Shawn, I will still love you. Remember how we talked about Heavenly Father’s love for us? He loves us even when he doesn’t love the thing we have done. That is how I love you. Now tell me about what you did.”

Shawn began to tell her about the picture frame and the football. His voice shook and tears rolled down his cheeks as he told his mother how sorry he was for not obeying the rules and for breaking the frame. “Maybe I could earn some money and pay for a new frame,” he offered.

“Let’s go in and see just how bad it is.” After looking at it, she said, “Shawn, I think we can mend this with some glue.”

Shawn ran to get the glue while Mother slipped the picture out of the frame. Together they glued the crack securely. When it was dry, Mother put the picture back in the frame and placed it on the table. “There,” she said. “It’s fixed.”

Shawn stared at the frame. Even with the pieces glued together, the ugly black crack stretched across one side of the frame. How could Mother say it was fixed? “It looks terrible!” he groaned.

Shawn’s mother put her arms around him. “Not to me,” she said gently. “To me it looks wonderful. When I look at the picture, I think of your grandma and grandpa and how much I love them. When I look at the frame, I think especially of Grandpa and all the great times we had together. And when I look at the crack in the frame, I think about a son who told the truth even when it was hard—and that’s the best treasure in the whole world!”

[illustrations] Illustrated by Pat Hoggan