NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Tuesday, July 30th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. If you’ve ever been the victim of theft, you know the sinking feeling. Lost time, lost money, violation of privacy. But commentator Kim Henderson is also thinking about the thief.
KIM HENDERSON, COMMENTATOR: For two weeks I’ve had this letter rolling around in my head. It goes something like this:
Dear Young Man Who Stole My Purse at City Park,
Hi. In the midst of the “incident,” I don’t believe we were properly introduced. Yeah, yeah. I understand you already know my name, address, checking account number, and penchant for fruit-flavored Tic Tacs. What you don’t know is that I saw you there, weaving through the line of cars. I watched you suddenly appear on the very playground equipment I was standing beneath.
Yep, I saw you. That’s why I eased back over from the swing side to my pile of stuff. You remember the pile, right? The purse you took off with, the tub of crayons, the illustrated Bible story book. Fifteen minutes earlier, you could have heard all about the Tower of Babel.
But I’m there standing guard over my stuff when I really start to see you – the long sleeves and the long legs and the long, untied shoe strings. I’m guessing you’re about 15, and you’re guessing you could fool me with those knee raises you started doing. You were right.
Because about that time that I started this internal debate. I scolded my profiling self: “He’s just a kid doing some kind of workout. Stop being so suspicious. You don’t want to live like that.”
So I walked away from my pile and every bit of the left side of my brain. (The logical side, in case you haven’t covered that in school yet.) And that’s all she wrote. My black abyss of a handbag with the loose grommet and my only set of car keys with a clicker was gone – a prize to your patience, and a penalty to mine.
An observant lady named Miss G. saw the whole scene from where she sat in the shade, reading a 4-inch thick King James Bible. Unlike me, she kept the left side of her brain operational when you came close. No internal debates. She simply moved her purse out of your reach. Wise lady, that Miss G. But we both agreed purses weren’t the problem. Your thieving was the by-product of what happened in a different park-like setting millennia ago.
I want you to know that later I told the kids on the swings we needed to pray for you. One asked why. I said, “Jesus told us to pray for our enemies.” So we did.
You see, young man, there’s a greater concern here than police reports and canceling accounts. I’ll get over losing the Cracker Barrel gift card our homeschool group gave us for our years of service as directors. I’ll buy another pair of reading glasses and another digital recording mic that sticks into my iPhone. (It’s pretty cool, huh?)
But there’s a greater concern here, and it’s you. You were made for something better than stealing purses. And if by some great providence you want to talk with me about what that means, I think you know where to find me.
For WORLD Radio, I’m Kim Henderson.