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The Two-Year-Old Litterbug in Washington D.C.

Two-year-old Harper Westover lives in Washington, D.C.—her parents "insist she's just the tidiest, most polite, and well-behaved toddler in the nation's capital."

In August 2016, however, those "tidiest" and "well-behaved" descriptors were brought into question as a "Notice of Violation" appeared in the Westovers' mail, fining Harper $75 for littering in the alley behind her house.

The evidence? "[A] discarded envelope a city worker had found with a bag of trash in the alley … addressed to [Harper] from Bucky's Buddies, a kids club for fans of the University of Wisconsin at Madison," her mother's alma mater.

Harper's mother, Theresa, "said there's no way anyone in her family littered: Every week, she or her husband leave the trash bin outside their home in the alley for garbage pickup." But when she called to get the ticket rescinded, the solid waste inspector refused to do so.

It was only after an online uproar and local news coverage that a public works official "said he would waive both Harper's and her mother's violations."

Potential Preaching Angles: When faced with the weight of our sin and the seemingly impossible prospect of trying to find God's favor, we might find ourselves in Harper's shoes: feeling like a tiny child charged with paying a heavy fine. Yet "it is by grace [we] have been saved, through faith—and this is not from [ourselves], it is the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8).

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