Someone in my neighborhood recently got a sweet new Radio Flyer Tricycle and an equally sweet new Radio Flyer Scooter. The only problem – THEY GOT THEM OUT OF MY DRIVEWAY!!! Stole them while our family was taking a walk around the neighborhood. Jackson, our six year old was shocked. Hudson, our two year old is less concerned because there are plenty of other things to climb on and jump off of right now. But at six, Jackson was for the first time met with human depravity at one of its deepest levels. “Why would someone want to take something that’s mine?” You could see on his face that feeling of being violated, stripped of rights, and left without secure boundaries. He eventually reasoned, “Those people must not know Jesus, because if they did, they wouldn’t steal.” Not too bad. And later (after convincing Heather to unload the guns and drop her plan to go door to door until she got our stuff back) it gave us an opportunity to teach, and remind ourselves, about forgiveness, the Gospel, and God’s justice.
Ephesians 4:32 – “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgive each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
1 Peter 2:23 – “When they hurled their insults at him (Jesus), he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.”
Romans 12:17-20 – “Do not repay anyone evil for evil … Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.”
Later this year, we’ll be hosting a block party at our house to try to reach out to and share the gospel with our neighborhood. We’ll be praying for and reaching out to somebody that sinned against us and violated our rights. Sounds familiar to me – “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:8.
Please pray with us for our neighborhood and for those people with sweet new radio flyer toys in their possession.
The whole episode reminded me of a favorite quote from the famous and well published Bible Commentator Matthew Henry:
“I thank Thee first because I was never robbed before; second, because although they took my purse they did not take my life; third, although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed and not I who robbed.”