#DailyProverbs 10:9: "Honest people are safe and secure, but the dishonest will be caught."
My grandmother always told us to tell the truth, even when it hurt us. We were to be honest, deal honestly, make an honest living, be honest to our parents, be honest in our daily existence. That's just who she was and she instilled it in my, that to be "right" you had to be honest.
[I, being typical me, would question about what happens when we are NOT honest.]
I like to tell stories and any southerner can tell you, some stories just require embellishment. I don't embellish much, but I don't just tell bland, and lifeless tales either. But, that aside, she would note that God will deal with the dishonest, the thieves, the liars, the double-dealers and those that take advantage of the weak. This was 35 years ago. Imagine what she'd think of the complicated nature of government, politics and business today???
[No one is a good guy.]
No one is automatically the white-hat. No one is the clear "good guy" anymore. If you save women and poor people, you tend to use drones to bomb other countries' women and poor. If you stand for being faithful to your religion, you tend to bash others' religion(s). There is no clear "good or honest" anymore. Well, I think my #MamawSue would tell me that's simply not true. We know inside ourselves when something doesn't feel like we are doing our best or when we are not being true to our faith, our ideals, our ethics, our morality... our standards.
I had $1357 dollars stolen from me this week in a thwarted attempt to steal my identity and to use my accounts. At first, I was just mad. I was so mad that someone would steal from me, and try it in a way that didn't just steal, but would harm me. I felt exposed, vulnerable and compromised. Plus, I travel EVERY DAY for work now and I needed that money. I need it to move about the country, eat, and work until my reimbursements are in. So, while I may have "a lot" of money, it's not liquid and it's already earmarked for use. This was just so annoying. I also know that money is the easiest place to attack someone when you want to cause real stress. Money is the number one cause of divorce. Money is the number once cause for families to break apart. Just watch the children of a rich person upon their death. The fight begins with the dividing of assets. It's easy to live right, and be holy and shout properly when your money is fine. It's harder when your money is funny.
Now, I know that it is easy enough to return the money to me. It's easy enough to fill out the affidavits, file the police report, and wait the long, and tiring business days before I can use that (needed) money. Overall, this was the "best case" for this "type" of crime that the police and bank had seen, according to the bank. (Thank God, because I didn't lose my Holy Ghost, and I didn't even say the F word. But it was CLOSE during one moment.) The bank was polite, the card company was polite, the people that need money from ME have been understanding, and even HELPFUL as to why all of my cards and my bank account is frozen and why my bank is calling in every single purchase to verify. And this is only in STOPPING the action. The next steps will be re-issuing charge plates, and re-connecting all of the auto-pay accounts and setting up the monthly payments that I take for granted in running my life smoothly. It is annoying and it could have made me be pretty curt and ugly with several vendors, the bank, the authorities, etc... All of the bureaucracy that goes with ensuring our "identity." I even claimed to one poor woman, "But I'M the victim here and the innocent one. I'm the one having to pore over my accounts and worry about my money." The cops are wanting me to wait it out and help them catch someone.
[I want justice, but here is where conviction and "honesty" and God's voice come into play...]
God started talking to me. I started getting SUPER annoyed with God. God, who already knows all of this... was asking me... Why did this person do this? Who is this person? What drove them to the point to where they wanted to take from someone? Was it for necessity? Was it for luxury? Was it laziness in work? I mean, to do the kind of things this person did isn't lazy. It takes skill. Why are they not hacking corporate systems and running IT departments? If they were just hungry, why not hold up a shop and get food? If it was for luxury, what in their mind got so twisted that they thought theft was the best way to enjoy the finer things? The bank was useless and the cops... well, I love and respect people, but the "PoPo" and I haven't always been close. I did reverse traces based on the info, tracked the location and tracked the people. THEN God told me not to press charges.
[WHA??? What, God? What did you just say to me?]
See, if I press charges, this person is gone. And what they did took talent and some skill. Now, I get my money back regardless. I get my restoration, regardless. I get to move on, regardless. But, this is a felony. This is grand larceny and a Class D Felony, and because it crosses state lines, it's even worse. I'm not saying this person doesn't deserve it. I'm saying that I think they crossed my path for a reason. Maybe they need some kind of chance, like God gave me second chances (I never did theft or compromised someone's ID, but still... I have been given second chances by God.) Maybe they need to know that they are not "throw away" and that someone could give something other than hate or cold justice. Maybe some mercy is in order. So, I told them I'd not press charges, and I'd like to be involved in rehabilitating the person, if that was an option. Or to find out what level of skill they had and see where they may fit in somewhere, if and when that were an option. Maybe they could do some real good somewhere. Isn't that what we're called to do as ministers of reconciliation?
Want some chill bumps? The MINUTE I finished deciding that, and communicating that, some of the "annoying" things that would require jumping through hoops for my week/weekened without cash called me. Not only did they understand, but they would just give me a free month for past service and help me reconnect all of the accounts when my new ones were set up after this. Um, okay. People that I called to say I couldn't pay, suddenly offering free stuff? Following God's voice in helping someone will never leave you stranded. God told me to do something that I thought I couldn't. I did it anyway, and suddenly, I, too, got blessed in the process. And throughout, I got to tell the bank, the police, and two stores why they were outplayed by someone, I found them, and I got to witness about mercy to a bank and the police in a situation where they normally see people at their worst and most vindictive. I still can't believe it myself.
#MamawSue would be proud, I'm sure. She'd be happy I was "honest" in my dealings and that hoping for the best in another human, even when they may not be at their best, or show their best, is being honest with God and with ourselves. What do you need to be honest with yourself about today? What do you need to be honest with God about? What do you need to be honest with other humans about? Maybe... you are the thief in this story. Maybe you need to make amends. Maybe you are like me in this story. Maybe you need to make room for forgiveness and mercy to someone.