While working at the parents house, today and in past, I have come across a lot of things that aren’t really valuable but have sentimental value or that trigger memories. I came across a strawberry shortcake thermos today that did not sell. It made me think about one night that the family was my parents when I got off work. I went there to get them and we ended up staying for dinner. Then, a Strawberry Shortcake Christmas show was coming on and our oldest, at the time only, daughter loved Strawberry Shortcake and wanted to stay and watch it, so we did that and another Christmas cartoon after that, then we finally headed home. But, when we got there we noticed the living room was a mess and realized that it was cold in there but could hear the furnace running. Then, we realized that someone had been in there, but the door had been locked. We looked, and found that someone had broken a window in the back of the house and come in that way. Apparently going out the same way or locking the door behind them when they let. We started looking and found that 2 rifles, my good 35mm camera and a shotgun had been stolen. None of the gifts had been taken. Now, we were not really financially stable at that time so any loss was significant. But the biggest loss of all was the shotgun, a bolt action .410 that had been my grandfather’s. It wasn’t a valuable shotgun by any means, other than the sentimental value made it irreplaceable. Thankfully we had good homeowner’s insurance and everything was replaced and because it was theft, there was no deductible. But, that still did not replace the actual shotgun, first, I could not find one like it, and second, a replacement would not have been Pop’s shotgun. Due to that, I was still pretty upset about it being stolen.
Thou shalt not steal. Exodus 20:15
Well, 3 or 4 years later, one of my wife’s brothers admitted that he knew who had broken into our place and stolen my things, it was one of the other brothers. Even worse was I found out that he knew it the very next day but said nothing. I was betrayed by two family members. Now, the fact that one knew, but said nothing was shocking and hurtful, but what was truly hurtful was the one that had stolen the things. There are a lot of things that one can do to another that are wrong but stealing involves several things at the same time: stealing obviously, but also involves a lot of other sins against someone else: lying and deceit, greed, assault (mental,) jealousy, destruction of one’s property. And, even worse was that I also eventually learned that he traded everything for about $50 worth of drugs. There were multiple family functions over the time between when that happened and when I learned about it and both the brother that stole from me and the one that concealed the facts never acted like they had done me wrong. No sign whatsoever that they had done me so wrong. Both had been present that Christmas, probably 2 weeks after the robbery, and another brother asked if the sheriff had found out anything and asked a bit about things and I mentioned that the one thing that bothered me most was Pop’s shotgun. The two guilty brothers offered sympathy and said things like: “I can’t believe how some people are.” and the one that had stolen my things said, “That kind of person is the lowest of the low.” Looking back, I am stunned that one could do someone that wrong and act so innocent. Stealing from me something of a value that no one could replace and pretending to be concerned and that they were innocent of any wrong doing.
Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another. Leviticus 19:11
As I said, it was bad enough just having it happen, but then later to discover that not one, but two, family members were in one manner or another involved. I had a hard time forgiving either of them, I have now, but it took me a very long time. I still struggle to understand how one person can intentionally wrong a family member, steal from them and then pretend to be innocent of any wrong doing. While not my siblings, I had been married to their sister for over 6 years at the time and considered them as close to me as my own brother and they pretended the same towards me. If they actually did have any consideration of family ties, it is obvious that they have no loyalty to family. To steal from, lie to, cheat, deceive and intentionally hurt a relative totally shocks me beyond words. Any person that would try to steal from family is far worse than a stranger stealing from a person in my mind.
Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death. Proverbs 10:2
Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. Mark 10:19
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly. John 10:10
I harbored hard feelings against all those that were aware and complicit in the theft of my things, much more so than had they had been strangers. I felt betrayed in addition to the personal affront of being stolen from since it was family that had done so. It took me a long time to forgive. Oh, I shan’t forget what they did and I do not think I will ever trust them again, but I do forgive them.
Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also [do] ye. Colossians 3:13
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 1 John 4:20
Lord, I thank You for teaching me to forgive, despite the wrong treatment by others. Showing me how Christ would have me respond. I thank You for the mercy and grace that You show me, despite my unworthiness. I thank Jesus for the sacrifice He made on the cross to redeem me. I pray for those who have done me, and others, wrong and that they be shown the error of their ways. Show them Your truths. Somehow Lord, lead them to You. Draw us all closer to You and show us that riches from sin are never going to be enjoyed. I pray that all loved ones learn to honor You and come to You asking for Your forgiveness. Help me see any manner in which I have sinned against others, help them be able to forgive me and help me to not sin against others or You again.
I appreciate those who find their way to my blog. I hope that you all have a blessed day, and that you are able to be a blessing to someone else as well.