August 24, 2013
Tonight as we were wrapping up a wonderful Men’s and Women’s (aka “Memen’s”) Ministry Kickoff at the BCM, I got a call from my roommate, Shannon. I could tell from her voice that something was wrong as she asked me when I was last home. Wondering if I left a light on or a door unlocked or the oven on, I told her I hadn’t been home since before she had left. “Okay…” she answered slowly, “cause I’m sitting in the driveway and our back door is wide open and my bedroom light is on and I didn’t leave it like that.”
I’m gonna go ahead and confess that moments like this excite me and my adrenaline got me home pretty quickly. It also led me to hope I might finally get to try out my taser as I crept through the door, which had clearly been pried open with a crowbar. I didn’t find any intruders in the rooms to tase (we can debate the fortune of this later), but I also didn’t find a few of our big things, including our flat screen TV, two computers and some money I’d been saving for 3 years.
The story is pretty straightforward from there. I called the police. Thirty minutes later they arrived to break the news that they couldn’t really help us. They told us to keep an eye out for anyone who looked “out of place” and bade us farewell.
Now I am sitting in my bed (armed with my taser and hammer, by the way) smiling to myself because while being robbed technically leaves someone empty-handed, I am going to bed feeling incredibly blessed.
I am blessed to be surrounded by a community of people that care about me and step in to help in the middle of the night without even being called. I’m blessed to have guy friends that are armed with more than tasers and girl friends that offer their beds and couches, all a few houses down from mine. Blessed to have friends follow us home and others call from a distance.
Honestly, I probably can’t expect to see those things again, but that’s okay. Because they are just things and materials are just temporary. We must learn that we can’t grasp fleeting things. Even the sentimental ones, which I’ll admit are hardest for me to give up. I’m pretty accustomed to breaking, totaling or losing every valuable item I ever get (I am the reason I can’t have nice things, after all). But I struggle to let go of the little things. I lost my hat in Nicaragua this summer and I am ashamed by how much it upset me. It was the hat my high school dance team wore when we won the hip-hop state championship. It’s traveled with me to six countries and has paint or concrete remnants from at least 10 mission trips. But at the end of the day, it is still just a hat, a material thing.
These things are too easily broken, or lost or taken. But no one can take the things that matter. In fact, I am going to bed feeling richer than I felt before. I have so much that can’t be taken from me: joy, peace, love. I will hold tightly to these things. As for the rest, I will hold on loosely, because I will lose it all in the end anyway.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:19-21