Before this all happened, I was typing up our final conclusions of the Run For Life event. Attempting to muster up enough energy to give a decent conclusion of the event. It was the day after Barry finished the 315 mile run, and we had finally arrived back home after 17 days on the road.
Believing that we were safe…
I had dispersed the money needed for the run between different bags and backpacks during the event so if one item was stolen we would still have money in another location. I was now consolidating all of that on our table back at our apartment.
After unpacking, I opened my laptop to begin loading the pictures of the run and to begin the final blog entry.
Realizing that we felt the weight of the two weeks catch up to us, my eye-lids became very heavy! Thinking how wonderful it will be to sleep in our own bed. I crash on the bed not long after 6pm.
During the night, I woke up. Totally out of it and feeling disoriented, I said to Melissa, “Did you hear something?” She half-awake said yes, but we didn’t think much of it.
Hearing noises is really a way of life down here in Haiti. With our windows always open, our bedroom door always open, we can wake up many times during the night hearing music, dogs, roosters, crashing, banging, drums, shouting, or you-name-it! It really isn’t unusual to hear something. Why would tonight be any different.
Thinking nothing of the noise, I lay with my eyes closed, listening a little bit as I dose off to sleep again…
until the morning…
Melissa runs into the room terrified…
“Ryan… I think someone broke into our house last night.”
Confused as I was completely passed out from exhaustion from the days before. I asked, “What?”
Melissa said, “Did you have your computer out on the table?” I nodded while getting the sleep out of my eyes. “It’s gone.”
Of course, that got my attention. I ruffled out of bed only a few feet to our table. The same table that I had consolidated the money from the Run For Life.
“It’s all gone.” I said. Melissa saw that the window to the balcony was open. We immediately noticed the bars had been chiseled away from the cement and bent enough for a person to get in and out.
It’s a terribly uncomfortable feeling knowing that someone was in our place, looking around and taking items. Knowing they were feet away from our open bedroom. Did they have a gun? Did they have a knife? Your thoughts seem to be never ending about the situation. Even more so are my thoughts about what would I have done if I would have caught them taking the money and computer.
“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” – John 10:10
It breaks my heart that money, to be used for good, was taken and rewarded to a thief. It breaks my heart that justice is not immediately served. It kills me to know that this person is still able to break into other peoples houses and take their things.
For one moment, do you remember the women in scripture who was caught in the very act of adultery. The law of Moses said that she should be stoned. The Pharisees, question Jesus about whether they should stone her. He responds, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” One by one, as the invitation settled in, the religious leaders moved away. The eldest departed first, followed by the youngest, until Jesus and the women were left alone. Then Jesus spoke the words that free a broken life: “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way and from now on, sin no more.”
It strikes a chord in all of us. The story shows Jesus’ mercy and compassion. We could see ourselves as the bystanders holding a rock. I can see myself, looking into the eyes of the thief that broke into our house. Then we pause and can also see ourselves in the women – as sinners set free.
Scripture tells us that the wages of sin, any sin, is death. We stand guilty before Jesus, who was without sin but bore its punshiment on the cross to bring us redemption. Like the women, we have experienced the extravagant kindness and undeserved mercy of Christ.
When someone commits a sin that threatens my comfort level, I have to fight my tendency to resort to judgment. It’s all too easy to forget my own sins, condemn the other person, and fail to extend the very grace I’ve received.
If we’re truly walking with Jesus, every day we will encounter individuals whose lives do not align with God’s Word. Our opportunity, however, is to act the way Jesus did.
If I have a chance to meet this criminal, I want to extend to him the grace, mercy and forgiveness that Christ gave us. I am not saying it’s easy to type these words but if I say I follow Christ, I want to act like Christ.
Melissa and I have continued to pray for the person that broke-in. We pray that he will find the joy in Christ that we have found.
As scary as the feeling is after knowing someone was in your place. We have been so thankful for the prayers and support of family and friends.