Forgiving Thieves

hyco 1File this one under the “You Can’t Make This Up” tab.  Our ministry (Free Indeed) has a mobile Prayer Tent that we have been setting up at area Fall Festivals.  It is an honor and a privilege to meet and pray for various people who come in, with various needs.  We also have my recently published book “Freed Bird” available for purchase as well (which is relevant to this story.)  This past weekend we set up at a local festival which was also a fund-raiser for the care of canine police officers!  This annual festival is named in memory of Hyco, a canine officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty a few years ago.  There is a race for runners to enter, a live band, and many craft and food vendors.

After setting up shop, my husband and I made the rounds visiting other booths and meeting the other vendors.  We had about an hour before the event opened up to the public.  We met both two- and four-legged police officers, and the local fire chief!  When we returned to our site, I noticed that my business cards were laying flat on the table; but the card holder that had displayed them was missing.  I looked all around the table, but it was simply gone.  Apparently someone had been by our table, a ministry prayer tent, and felt the need to dump the cards out and take the card holder!

All of my books were accounted for, as was the Bible Atlas that we are giving away in a drawing.  My first inclination was to go around to the other booths and see who was using my card holder.  I laughed at the irony of it all, and quickly decided that if someone needed my $2.00 plastic business card holder badly enough to steal from a ministry tent, at a police fund-raiser, then they obviously needed it much more than I did.  Copies of my book “Freed Bird” lay before my eyes, carefully arranged on our table.  The book chronicles finding freedom through forgiving others, and I once again laughed at the irony.

Oh, how Satan tempts us, while Father watches closely to observe our reaction and response!  It seems effortless to forgive when we are robbed of insignificant items that can be easily replaced.  But what happens when we are plundered of more valuable material possessions?  We are not only angry, but often heart-broken if a family heirloom is stolen, lost or destroyed.  Sentimental value of certain trinkets and jewels are worth far more than any insurance policy might reimburse.  Can we let it go?

Thieves are law breakers and should be held accountable, but forgiving them and moving on is always up to us.  Jesus said, Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  (Matthew 6:19-21)  

There is certainly nothing wrong with having material possessions, as long as your material possessions do not have you!

Forgive and live.

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