Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I'll Praise You In the Storm

Comfort and Security:  Two-by-four lumber,  Screws and Penguin duct tape

Christmas this year has been more eventful than some.  Something new happened and may it be that this year is extraordinarily special so that there will be no other year in the future when such event will ever happen again.  We will remember...we will always remember this (2012) as the year our house was broken into.   

All my precious jewelry was taken away.   It is a collection of gifts my loving husband gave me over the years.  One of them is a necklace designed to show the characters of the Hebrew word for love ahava. It is a present he gave me before we got married which he sent to me in a package when I was still in the Philippines.  It is not as expensive as the other ones I lost but it is full of memories.  Every single piece had a nostalgic and cheerful story to tell.  But they're gone now.  
"He gives and takes heart will choose to say, "Lord blessed be your Name"."
Jewelry is things.  And things are things.  They are merely ornaments on what matters.  I am blessed to know that God is always there for me and my family.  And that's what matters.  The loss of my stuff caused no hurt or devastation at all.  Our God is with us.  On December 27, 2013 we were on our way home from Eureka (about three hours' drive to home) when the Sheriff called to inform us of what happened.  I realized that there was no better place where we could have been when we heard about the burglary at our home.  We could not do anything - nothing at all - except to praise God.  The whole family was so thankful.  We were all together and safe.  God is good, indeed!  I prayed while I was in the car that whoever did it would have his circumstances changed and that he would get closer to God as a result.  I told Tim that if the person came to ask for my jewelry I would not have given all of them to him but if the police caught him at this time, I would freely give all the pieces to him just so he can start life anew.  I was feeling merciful like the priest in 'Les Miserables" who, after Jean Valjaean stole his silverware, also gave his candelabras away.  When we arrived home, while Tim and Brahms were at Home Depot buying lumber, I posted the following phase on my Facebook status: "Praising God for His goodness!"  It was the simplest, most accurate and least consternation-causing statement I could share at that time.

The invasion of our privacy is probably more shocking than the loss of material things.  The thought that somebody was there looking into the private rooms of the house gives me an eerie feeling especially when I wake up in the middle of the night and through the dim light I see the dresser that was ransacked and later on powdered for finger prints.  However, it is comforting to know that beyond all the man-made doors and locks, is the inner-most private room of my life where only God can get to it.  That is where my true treasure rests.

Our door is broken and we are in the process of replacing it.  But if I look at it now, I notice that aesthetics and convenience come only second after comfort and security.  Pieces of knotty two-by-fours and long screws hold the door in place.  We can no longer go in and out of it but it is secure. Penguin duct tape seals the cracks to keep cold air out as much as possible.  Who needs a beautiful door when the house is cold? 

My children were all cool about the incident.  No anger or feeling of retaliation has come out of this.  Shannon puts it accurately when she parallels the event to a natural calamity as in a storm.  There's no one to blame.  And I like it that way.  Natural calamities have the ability to shake up lives.  They are short-lived but can leave lasting lessons behind.  We learned so many lessons from this incident but one thing sticks out.  If God is your most important treasure of all, then no amount of burglary will ever shake up your life.  

Psalm 121:1-8
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

We can laugh at the days to come...

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