foiled again.

Not more than one week ago, I was commenting to someone that one of the advantages of small town/moderately small city life is the lack of crime. In Clintonville, barely a day went by where we didn't have a police helicopter flying overhead with its searchlight shining up and down our street. Once really late at night we even had a number of people with flashlights (assumably police, but it was very dark) come charging through our yard toward the back alley. Not so in South Bend. We've heard a few police sirens, sure, but it's generally so quiet at night we've had to play recorded episodes of COPS before bed just so we can get that old sense of paranoia back enough to go to sleep. No gunshots. No helicopters. No searchlights. No high-speed chases. Not even any raucous dog barking at intruders trying to force their way into a garage or ten. So it was with a significant amount of surprise that I woke up to find my bike stolen and my car broken into last night. No real damage was done to the car and nothing in it (my precious Shins CDs, for instance) was stolen. My bike was hidden out of sight but not locked up. Serves me right, I guess, for not locking it up and for my uncalled-for sense of relief and confidence at living in such a safe neighborhood. I know what some of you are thinking: Buy a gun, hippie-boy. But what I'm thinking is: why am I so torn up over a bike? Yeah, we can't afford to get me a new one anytime soon, but it's just a bike! It's not like anyone broke into our house or really threatened our safety. What's with all this "mine" language? I mean, isn't everything--every possession, even our very lives--a gift from God? Shouldn't my attitude be one of gratitude, holding my possessions lightly? I think of that scene at the beginning of Les Miserables where Jean Valjean steals the silver candles from the priest but when Jean is captured and brought back to the priest to confirm the criminal act, the priest instead says, "Oh, friend, you forgot the silverware and the silver platters we gave you as gifts." Valjean becomes a Christian because of the priest's actions--because he obviously valued the person over the possession. Why can't the rest of us, especially those of us who consider ourselves morally conservative, Evangelical Christians, live life like that?


Blogger John McCollum said...

Why? Because we like our stuff, damnit, and we don't want anyone else to have it.

Oh, and that 'sense of justice' thing, too.

10/20/2004 8:28 PM  

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