Yesterday morning I walked into the church and noticed the office door was open. “Hmm,” I thought to myself, “I thought I closed that door before I left yesterday.”
Then I walked around the corner and noticed my office door standing open. “I know I closed that door.” The hair on the back of my neck stood up, and I could feel all my muscles starting to tense. I walked into my office and saw the mess. I looked more closely at my office door and saw it had been jimmied open. So too had the office door.
Someone broke into the church. We had been robbed!
I made an inventory through the church, called the sheriff, and called our Board members. What else was there to do? I returned to my office, sat down in my chair, and looked around my office. Two thoughts overwhelmed me:
1. All of the things that were taken were replaceable. I am grateful that the things that have sentimental value to me were left untouched.
2. The words from Matthew Henry’s journal on the day he was robbed immediately came to mind:
“Let me be thankful first, because I was never robbed before; second, because, although they took my purse, they did not take my life; third, because, although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I that robbed.”
So sitting in my office waiting for the sheriff deputy to arrive I prayed. I thanked God for His protection, and I prayed for the desperate individual who broke in. Clearly this is someone who is at their wit’s end. Our thief is someone who needs my prayers, not my scorn.
I still feel violated. I still had a sick feeling in my stomach all day (and even now as I recall the events of yesterday). But I also remain grateful to God for His protection, and I’m continuing to pray for our thief that in His desperation He will meet this same loving God.