It is the early hours of the morning and sound asleep in our bedroom.
Then the urgent fearful cry from Judith, “Peter! Someone is in our room!”
The silence and peace in our sanctuary is shattered instantly.
Adrenaline kicks in. I fly out of bed. My mind racing. Trying to make sense of it all through the vanishing fog of sleep.
The intruder has already left and high tailing it down the road.
But my initial concern is for Judith. She’s fine. I race to the front door and out into the street. I can’t see the culprit.
Then I hear Judith call from the bedroom, “He has taken my bag!”
We have been robbed.
The following minutes and hours see the Police attend, declare it as an aggravated (weapon on thief used to cut the flywire) burglary, a search the suburb for the perpetrator on foot, then a search for the bag possibly discarded, forensic team dusting for finger prints, calls for credit cards to be stopped, locksmiths called to replace every lock in the house, garage and the car… the drama is quite unsettling.
In the end, the bag was found miraculously later that day, 15 minutes before the locksmiths were to arrive and begin their $1300 lock replacement campaign. Whew! The cost to us was the damage to the flywire the thief cut to gain entry to our bedroom, the cost in time replacing ‘stopped’ cards and replacement driver’s license.
All that was physically stolen was a few dollars in cash. But psychologically a lot more was stolen. And we had gained a sense of fear.
I was annoyed.
Then two weeks later almost the same thing. The thief came back and attempted the same entry by cutting through the flywire in the lounge room. But this time was denied entry because the window was actually locked. Police called. Forensics came too. But to no avail.
TWICE! … in two weeks.
The fear factor, especially for my wife and daughter were greatly heightened.
My annoyance had shifted to something else. I was now angry.
Not only had our sanctuary (that is what a home is meant to be) been shattered, but now a sense of fear gripped us all. We were no longer safe to sleep without fear of a return visit.
My thoughts shifted into what I might do to this… this… well, let’s just say I was not in a kind place at this point. It is amazing how the mind can quickly shift to what you think you could do. Like getting a baseball bat and, well there are plenty of movies our mind can use to describe the actions that you would like to take. And I was quite serious.
But my little insanity period didn’t last too long as I took my concerns before the Lord.
In my mind, I was in turmoil. In my spirit, I needed to find peace… and being a bloke, also a solution.
It is times like this, God will bring recall of appropriate Scriptures to mind. This is the Word of God. It is light. It is wisdom.
I am reminded that the loss of material things are not important. The fear is what needed to be dealt with. Perfect love drives out fear! To love is to forgive. Uh oh.
I find myself praying for the thief. And in moments my heart shifts from anger to sorrow for this lost soul. He is heading towards a Christ-less eternity. Sin has robbed him of life eternal. His fate is perilous unless he repents and receives Jesus Christ as Lord. Will he? Can he?
The fear melts away.
Then the solution comes. The following day when the forensic team are dusting for prints, the officer takes me outside and points to all the houses either side of me. He says, “You are a perfect target. You are the only one without any alarm security. The thief looks for an easy mark and will bypass any house with visible signs of an alarm.”
So I now have an alarm. The white box, blue light and even an infrared dome camera surveying the front garden. Coupled with crimesafe fly-screens, new sensor flood lights that trigger whenever someone steps 1 metre onto the property and a monitoring company sign that states, “Warning: You are under 24 hour camera surveillance”.
These things just watch over my house and I have peace of mind.
God watches over my family and I have peace of heart.
And as for my thief?
All actions have consequences. He will eventually get caught for his activity and will pay the penalty.
But when he robbed me, he picked the wrong house.
Now he has both God and me on his case.
Together we are after his soul!