Saturday night. When Jack was just a little guy in Mother’s Day Out, he was hurt by another kid in the group. I remember what he said in the car as we were heading home: ”Why would he do that?” Besides the fact that he was hurt and his feelings were hurt, he wondered why. I loved that innocent question. It hadn’t occurred to him that someone would hurt someone else, just because.
Considering the fact that we are all born with a sin nature, we are all capable of misbehaving, but still there are just some things that we would not think could happen. Here’s the Paul-Harvey-Rest-of-the-Story laundry saga. To recap: on Tuesday afternoon, I left an entire load of dark clothes in one of the washers in our building’s basement laundry room. Where is my brain??? Guess it was entirely too ambitious of me to take three full hampers of clothing down there to wash all at once. And, I didn’t realize my mistake until Wednesday night when Lee Anne tried to find the favorite t-shirt that she sleeps in — she knew I had taken it down to wash it on Tuesday. That’s when it hit me — I never came back with it, and besides that, I didn’t even remember putting that load into the dryer! Oh, no — and the laundry room closed at eleven, so I had to wait until Thursday morning when I scurried down — only to find no trace of the clothes. Who would take them, and more importantly, why? Like Toddler Jack, I could not conceive of why someone would do such a thing. There are all sorts of scenarios. Perhaps it was truly a mistake by someone (I’d like to embrace this one). There were a lot of hired helpers doing the laundry that day, and perhaps one of them took the clothes out of the washer, dried them, and put them into their employer’s drawers, not realizing they took someone else’s clothes. That’s one. Here’s another one: someone wanted those clothes and chose to take them. On the one hand, maybe they needed them. Maybe they have fallen on such hard times that they have resorted to stealing opportunistically. If they needed them, then I hope our clothes can fill that void. If they just wanted them, then that’s just — crummy. Bad behavior, for sure. Not right. Stealing, plain and simple. But, it won’t change our lives in any significant way.
Dealing with cancer, amputation, hospitalization, sickness, life-on-the-line issues — these things bring it into focus with crystal clarity — the unimportance of things. It’s the people whom we love that really matter. We are told in God’s Word to love our neighbor, to love one another. People trump things. We have a choice about what we value in life. No one was hurt, and we will get over the loss of clothes. Just still wondering…. why?
Matthew 6:19-21 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.