Well, what a few days it been. Firstly to all my Twitter, Facebook (and good ol’ phone!) friends and family, thank you so much for your kind words and support this week. It has been a lifeline. On Thursday afternoon we were burgled and another attempt was made to get into the house while we were sleeping on Thursday night. I can’t really put into words how I am feeling right now. It’s not the ‘stuff’ that is gone that upsets me. Even the things of sentimental value that were taken aren’t so hard to bear because I know the most important thing anyone has ever given me is their time and the memories I have with them cannot be taken from me.
When I saw the broken window and my things all over the floor I immediately thought of this verse from the gospel of Matthew:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
I’ve been thinking about this for some time. Of how easy it is to dedicate your life to temporary things, things that can be taken from you in a moment. I’ve consciously decided to focus on permanent things, on who I am as a person, on the love that I show to others, the good I do in my time on earth, on God.
But what I wasn’t prepared for was the feeling of utter desolation that came from the total invasion of my space. My home is my sanctuary and now I don’t want to be there. It feels like there is nowhere to go where I can feel safe or secure. My mind is full of alarms and checking locks and fear. Every person is someone who can harm you or who is looking through your window for what they can take from you. But I realise that just as I have already seen that putting your heart in material things is a road to nowhere so also is putting your security in a place. Because if it’s not thieves then it will be something else, as the passage ends ‘Do not worry about tomorrow for today has enough trouble of its own.’
For that reason I’m determined to not let this experience beat me. I don’t want to waste my days feeling fearful or angry. If that is how I become I will have been robbed of something much more valuable that some ‘stuff’. In some ways the greatest danger is not even that it happens again as I’ve already been fearing. The biggest danger is that it changes me and the way I live and interact with people. I love my community, I won’t have that taken from me. My home is a place of hospitality and warmth, I won’t give that up. I treat people as individuals and give them the benefit of the doubt – I’ll not have that taken from me either.
So the work of rebuilding home and confidence begins. And I will be successful. In that I am very sure.