Being robbed feels like a violation. We returned home to our house a few weeks ago to discover a back door open. A quick glance into the office confirmed our suspicion. Someone robbed us.
That Friday was a holiday and we thought we would go see a movie. We were only gone for 2 hours. In that short amount of time, someone stole around $12,000 worth of electronics, money, and jewelry. I openly confess that I was angry. Snorting like Ferdinand the Bull (remember that kids story? He was stung by a bee…), I wanted revenge. A missionary friend came over and recommended that we pray. I didn’t want to pray. I confess I didn’t close my eyes. Is that a sin? Someone was watching my house after all. Someone was staking out my family. I was ready for some revenge.
As the emotion twisted toward fear, a gnawing sense of letting down my family by not exercising my husband-ly and fatherly duty of keeping us and our stuff safe steadily grew inside of me. I am the man of the house. Security is my duty. A carnal thought rumbled like an incoming storm—why did God let this happen? I left my home, family, and friends to serve him in a foreign country. I at least deserve his protection. It was then than my conscience, ie. my wife, pulled the rug out from under my lament. He did protect us. We were not in the house when the robber came in. We can recoup $12 grand. We should be most thankful for being safe.
After all, stuff is just stuff. Oh, it is easy to lose sight of the value of stuff. Compared to health and safety, it’s not much. Just stuff. Only then, days later, did I first realize (and accept) that he did protect us. Yes, he protected us from potential violence. He protected us even more from allowing stuff to become more than simply inert compounds with no eternal future. We were safe. He was good to us.
I have suggested to others that it is good to get robbed every few years (this is our fourth time) so that the stuff of this world retains its proper place and value. Slightly above worthless and way below everlasting. Just stuff.