I am NOT a happy woman this morning! Someone robbed one of my children! Oh, there are trendy names for it- hacking, fraud, identity theft. You call it anything you want- my mama called it stealing! I stole a package of gum once, when I was about six years old, and the punishment, guilt, and remorse that followed were enough to prevent any notion I might have had of being a repeat offender. We may have been dirt poor most of the time, but my parents, especially my mother, believed in making do with what you got in life- not trying to take what someone else had.
I don’t understand stealing. There are so many other options in the world. There are so many agencies and groups and churches and centers and neighbors and family members and friends who will help you out when you are in need. But my mother had a theory and she was probably right. It isn’t the people who NEED who are most likely to steal. It’s the ones who just WANT. Greed and pride and hatred motivate them, not need and humility and love.
My daughter’s bank account is now empty because someone figured out how to steal a set of those precious numbers we all live by. I’m not sure the bank even knows yet exactly how it was done. Every week it seems there is a new scam, a new fraud, a new way of stealing that takes us by surprise and makes us wonder “what next?” And I’m also wondering, “If someone is smart enough to figure that out, why aren’t they smart enough to make a legitimate living?” My mother’s answer comes quickly to mind, “Some people are trash Mary Elizabeth, some people are just trash.” My mother could be harsh sometimes, especially when people let her down. If you read her columns you know she was always willing to give people a second chance and she believed strongly in redemption and rehabilitation. But the Lord better be ready to help you if you hurt one of her kids!
Unfortunately this is not a new experience for my daughter or for us. Years ago Karen’s Christmas bicycle was stolen out of our front yard. Our home was burglarized once while we were out shopping. Some items were stolen out of a vehicle we had parked behind our apartment complex. But each time goodness and good people have prevailed against the darkness. Karen’s bicycle was replaced by a sweet little boy who learned of her plight and gave her his own bike. Friends and family helped us out. In every crisis of our life someone has been kind and loving and generous to us. Even in this latest incident several people have already shown extraordinary compassion in helping Karen through this experience. Praise God that the thieves of the world are out-numbered!
I would caution you to be careful today- if I knew what to be careful with or about. There doesn’t seem to be any real protection against this new kind of thief. While we are guarding one door they just figure out how to get in through another one. So I guess the best plan is to just live a life of honesty and pray for those who don’t.
Is this what God meant by “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”? Well, let me just tell you it’s a little more difficult to do when they persecute your child! But I’m trying….