[betrayal of trust]

[betrayal of trust]

One Sunday someone took my friend’s money and iPod from her purse… at Church.

Those who were there when she discovered that things were taken, were shocked.

First thing that perplexed us was of course the very fact of theft.

But something blew our minds more than the theft itself. The fact that it was at Church… 

“One of us…”

We don’t know who did it, but we have a suspicion. Really, there was only one person who could’ve done it. Everyone else have been to the Church and youth group for a long time…

And yet, the stupid nagging suspicion hooked our minds.

“One of us…”

It hurts. It stinks.

It makes me wonder how could someone decide to do something like that at Church. Then I remember that just because people go to Church it doesn’t make them saints instantly. Sometimes time passes and they realize what they’ve done. Sometimes time passes… and they don’t. One never knows.

I have a friend. Back in early ’90s, when he was still an alcoholic and a drug addict, he robbed an apartment. He robbed an apartment where friends of his friend lived. He stole everything he could.

Fast forward a decade. He joined a rehab program, stayed there for a bit longer, and after training, he became a pastor and a proud papa of 11 kids (one of his own and the other are adopted).

Fast forward a few more years. A former missionary to Ukraine comes back for a visit. He was the one whose apartment was robbed. He had no idea about the robber, but he prayed for him. It was a great time of reunion and reminiscing about the past.

I don’t know whether the recent situation with my friend will turn out to be so powerful. Not all thieves decide to repent. However, whoever s/he is, I hope those stolen possessions will not be used to destroy her / his soul completely.

The betrayal of trust still hurts. The irksome doubts at who could it be irritate the mind – the fact that we now need to protect our possessions where we used to feel at home is no fun.

Yet… I don’t know how, but I know God is able to use this… somehow.

  • Mary

    The first thing that comes to mind is to pray for that person. I gather from your story that your friend prayed for the thief not knowing who he was. This situation is very similar.

    Disturbing as the event is, it would be better not to assume the identity of the culprit. In this way the prayer will be freed of the distressing overtones of the incident. Moreover, there is no way of knowing who did it beyond all doubt.

    Your friend’s story is a powerful one. This is a great opportunity to put the teachings of Christianity into practice. Who knows what miracles could result?

    • I am praying for something good to come out of this. I know He can use it – the only questions is – HOW will He do it this time?

      • Mary

        What He can use, most of all, is the loving thoughts, through prayer, that people give. The Holy Sprit will always extend love. Even the prayers of people who know nothing about this situation can be used. Our part is to relinquish our ideas about the situation and allow Him to do His work. He needs open channels so His Love can flow through and heal.

  • I agree. We don’t know how the Lord will use something upsetting like this to break into other hearts. It doesn’t have to be overnight, may be some years later, as you described.

    One of our churches made a very strong rule that people not leave anything unwatched, as their items could be stolen. They also had a security guard b/c there was a history of cars being broken into. Understandably, some of that would be non-church members, but not all.

    We live in a very mix-up world, not a lot of boundaries being respected. My former husband used to say to me, “What’s yours is mine, and what’s mine is mine.” And that was quite a number of years ago. Now, it’s often simply the way people operate… any, BTW, he was a Christian, so that doesn’t mean our present Christians don’t walk through that intense attitude.

    • I guess what bugs me the most is the uncertainty of it. I can forgive the person who did something to me, but when something was done and I don’t know who did it… It stinks because one starts to inadvertently suspect everyone around him/herself… and that sucks.

      • The godly man I’ve been married to for 26 years is the exact opposite of my ex-husband. And he would never steal anything from anyone. With all he does at church and other homes, it’s a constant blessing. We all need to be so focused on honesty… it’s too easy to cross those lines just a little casually, even “kindly”, in our present day and age.

  • Mary

    Zee, take a deep breath. I suggest there could be many explanations for this. A hypothetical detective would want to know all details about the set up in the Church, and would take your friend and everyone through the possibilities. Whatever the facts turn out to be (we may never know) there is always the opportunity to stop suspecting and start forgiving.

    • True 🙂 And I do need to take a deep breath. Lately, it has been tough to do, however.

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