Thanks to Brother Edilloran for the following story, which begs the question, what Motivated you to join Freemasonry?
A young man passed a pawn broker’s shop. The money lender was standing in front of his shop, and the young man noted that he was wearing a large and beautiful Masonic emblem. After going on a whole block, apparently lost in thought, the young man turned back, stepped up to the pawn broker, and addressed him: “I see you are wearing a large Masonic emblem. I’m a Freemason too. It happens that I desperately in need of $25 just now. I shall be able to repay it within ten days. You don’t know me, but I wonder whether the fact that you are a Freemason and I am a Freemason is sufficient to induce you to lend me the money on my personal note”.
The pawn broker mentally appraised the young man, who was clean cut, neat, and well dressed. After a moment of thought, he agreed to make the loan on the strength of the young man being a Freemason. Within a few days the young man had repaid the loan as agreed and that ended the transaction.
About four months later the young man was in a Lodge receiving the Entered Apprentice degree; he had not really been a Mason when he borrowed the $25. After he had been admitted for the second section of the degree, the young man looked across the Lodge room and saw the pawn broker from whom he had borrowed the $25. His face turned crimson and he became nervous and jittery. He wondered whether he had been recognised by the pawn broker. Apparently not, so he planned at the first opportunity to the leave Lodge room and avoid his benefactor. As soon as the Lodge was closed he moved quickly for the door, but the pawn broker had recognised the young man, headed him off and, to the young man’s astonishment, approached him and greeted him with a smile and an outstretched hand.
“Well I see you weren’t a Freemason after all when you borrowed that $25, the pawn broker commented.
The blood rushed to the young man’s face as he stammered, “No I wasn’t, but I wish you would let me explain. I always heard that Freemasons were charitable and ready to aid a brother in distress. When I passed your shop that day I didn’t need that $25. I had plenty of money in my wallet, but when I saw the Masonic emblem that you were wearing I decided to find out whether the things that I heard about Freemasonry were true. You let me have the money on the strength of my being a Freemason, so I concluded that what I had heard about Freemasons was true, that they are charitable, that they do aid brethren in distress. That made such an impression on me that I presented my petition to this Lodge, and here I am. I trust that with this explanation you will forgive me for having lied to you”.
The pawn broker responded, “Don’t let that worry you too much. I wasn’t a Freemason when I let you have the money. I had no business wearing the Masonic emblem that you saw. Another man had just borrowed some money on it, and it was so pretty that I put it on my lapel for a few minutes. I took it off the moment you left. I didn’t want anyone else borrowing money on the strength of my being a Freemason.
When you asked for that $25, I remembered what I had heard, that they are honest, upright, and cared for their obligations promptly. It seemed to me that $25 wouldn’t be too much to lose to learn if what I heard was really true, so I lent you the money and you repaid it exactly as you said you would. That convinced me that what I’d heard about Freemasons was true, so I presented my petition to this Lodge. I was the candidate just ahead of you”‘.