Wednesday, September 11, 2013

They Stole More Than Sunglasses

On my way to work Monday morning, I discovered broken glass outside of Holly's car. And when I looked for the source of the glass, my heart sank. Apparently, someone had broken the front driver's side window in her car in an attempt to search the car for valuables. Fortunately, we don't leave much for people to take. Today, we discovered they had taken a pair of Holly's sunglasses.

And not only were they just sunglasses. They were Toms sunglasses. Toms does a "2 for 1"charity deal on their sunglasses. When you buy a pair, Toms gives prescriptions glasses to a middle schooler in need. Toms does a wonderful job capitalizing on our values of consumerism and charity. We're suckers! It's a worthy company to look into ( Apparently, we gave Toms a "2 for 0" deal.

So, if you see someone with a pair of these glasses, clutch your children a little tighter. He/she might be a charitable hipster or a car thief. Either way, protect your children.
A small loss compared to what could have been taken, but they stole more than Holly's sunglasses. They stole our illusion of security.

Each morning when I walk to my car, my heart stops a bit as I scan the lot for broken glass. Will it happen again? Will I come upon a man or woman in Toms sunglasses that I will have to interrogate? And what is the question you would ask a possible suspect to determine if he/she is a charitable hipster or car thief? (Make sure and comment below if you think of the perfect question.)

And most mornings, that would be all I would get from this experience. A loss of security. A growing pessimism about the human condition. A conspiracy theory that local auto body shops were taking on extra shifts to break car windows so they could repair said windows.

But on this morning, something miraculous happened. On second thought, the miraculous part might not have been what happened. I think the miraculous part was my openness to learn and see God do things he often does if our vision is open to seeing God in the mundane.

The thieves didn't just steal Holly's glasses or our illusion of security. They stole my insular bubble, which normally keeps me from truly "seeing" the people around me.

Every day, I leave my secure house (doors locked) to enter my secure car (music & windows up) and drive to my secure church office (with secretaries as my bouncers). I spend a few hours at the office before I repeat the process. I leave my secure office to get into my secure car and walk the short distance to my secure house.

Security is a high value in our culture. Our security protects us from harm, but a negative side effect of our security is how it protects us from interactions with people who desperately need contact with devoted followers of Jesus Christ.

So, on Monday morning, my short walk from my secure house to my secure car was disrupted. After the police had arrived to take the report, a neighbor walked out to see what the problem was. He helped me clean up the glass, sympathized with my situation, and eventually invited himself to my church.

Which makes me wonder...what does my tight schedule and secure routine protect me from? Interactions with neighbors who want to go to church with me? If so, then I'll drop the routine.

On my way to work with my window down broken, I heard the city in a way I don't usually hear with my music & windows up. I actually "saw" the people around me. And on my drive, I prayed that God would give me a heart for the city.

Which makes me wonder...what does my tight schedule and secure routine protect me from? A heart that is broken and prayerful about the world around me? If so, then I'll roll my windows down and drive without my music on.

No one wants to pay their deductible. But I wonder if the price of our window was worth the lessons God wanted to show me on Monday.

So, to the thieves who broke into our car on Sunday night, thanks for stealing my secure route and routine from me.

But if you'd like to return the sunglasses, my wife would appreciate it.