by Katie Delp
The text came early one morning during our beach vacation. Our house had been broken into… again. After 16 years in the neighborhood, it’s not an unfamiliar text.
Our neighbor who lives behind us had noticed our back door was open. He also picked up on the fact that it didn’t seem like we were home. He called another neighbor to inquire. She reached out to our next door neighbors, who confirmed our absence and walked over to check out the house and lock up. It’s always a blessing to have good neighbors looking out for you.
Still, being broken into is no fun. We experience this type of robbery about once a year, and it’s always disappointing to lose tablets and rings and TVs. In our culture, we are often taught to avoid places where break-ins are more common. It’s one example of our society’s broader quest to avoid suffering at all costs.
But suffering in life is inevitable. In the bigger picture, of course, replacing a laptop is a manageable loss. But the comparison of suffering is really not the goal. Our hope after a break-in is to take a moment to mourn our loss - the material things, the peace of mind, etc. - and then to open ourselves up to what God is doing in our midst.
Without fail, we have witnessed moments of resurrection and redemption after every dark episode we have experienced in the neighborhood.
After the beach text, I came home and baked an apple pie for our neighbor who noticed the open door. Most of our previous interactions had been between his rowdy dogs and our kids in the backyard. This situation offered me an opportunity to connect with him in a new way. Our break-in opened the door for deeper connection among neighbors. And it does every time. And for that engagement, I am thankful.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." - 2 Corinthians 1:3-4