Sunday, August 19, 2007

Lord, have mercy.

If you've ever had something taken from you, you know it can leave a bitter taste in your mouth. A few years ago when I was teaching 8th grade language arts, I entered my classroom one morning to see that it had been ransacked. My hidden stash of candy and other prizes was gone, and items from my desk had also disappeared. There's an eerie anger when you realize someone has trespassed and taken things that belong to you. In the case above, two students decided to sneak into the school after hours, stealing items from several classrooms.

This morning as we were leaving for church, I looked out the window and noticed that our son's swing was gone. I ran outside to see if it had merely fallen, and all that remained was the rope hanging from the tree. What a way to head to church! I was frustrated and indignant (Who would steal from a baby?), my mind racing with when it happened, who did it, etc.--not the best attitude to bring to worship.

During the service we sang this simple, profound refrain:

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy on me.

And it all makes me wonder: what is an appropriate response--what is a Christ-like response--in this situation? Do I let it go, trusting that the swing will now provide another child with joyful fun? Do I actively search for the swing, confront if necessary and bring "justice"?

I don't want to be petty, and the monetary value of the stolen item is not high, but it's the principle of it. I'd love to hear your thoughts.


Jody said...

I don't know what to say,as I would have a difficult time understanding how someone could do that. Could it be a prank? College kids have warped humor.

Judy said...

I have never posted on your blog before but I do visit on occasion. I do know what you are going through. While raising a large family, over the years we have had things happen to us, and have again recently where my daughters car was vandalized. Right now you feel like you have been violated, and it really doesn't matter what has happened or how small the item that was taken was. You still feel like a victim. We have learned that it is not "what" that happens to you but how you react to it. Trying to get into the persons mind of who took the swing will just make you go crazy and it seems you never get over it. Forgiving the person who did the "taking" is a step. Forgetting how you felt at the time and what happened takes a bit longer. But when there is forgivesness the forgetting comes. I am sorry that happened to you. I am not very good with words but I hope you find some comfort in them.

A, B & C said...

I'm so sorry this happened to you!
I always resort to humor personally. What about making "Run Away Swing" flyers to post around the neighborhood? You could put a little picture of the swing and the reward could be "the appreciation of a little boy forever"...
Seriously though, I would just try to forgive, as hard as it is. It feels so good once you do and let's you spend more time living a peaceful, happy life!

Leanne said...

Yes... its a very difficult feeling. Over 12 years ago I was pickpocketed at one of our local libraries... I haven't been back there to check out books since (thankfully, there are other places to go...). However, I feel like the library should be a "safe" place. I didn't care that the wallet was gone, but I've always cared that my sense of safety was...

Anonymous said...

Well, I think aggrevation or disappointment are always going to be an instant human response. The Christian thing to do would be not to let it eat you alive and forgive the thief. You may even start praying for that person...if you feel led. It could've been a group of kids out having a night of "fun."

Andrea L.

Maybe the Lord, in His great mercy and thoughtfulness, will show you where to find a nice, inexpensive swing to replace it. :) That would be my prayer for you and your little one.

(((((HUGS))))) sandi said...

I bloggeda bout this very thing ricently! I wish I knew the proper response~we actually find such things laughable at this point! LOL! However, I do wish that others realized how hard we work to have the things we have~your swing cost MONEY!

We always pray for the thief~especially pausing to ask that God reveal Himself to him/her/them. Sorry I can't be of more help! (((((HUGS))))) sandi