>So, the other day, something odd happened…
Around lunchtime, Lindsey was at home alone with the kids, and she heard a noise out back. Looking out the back French doors, she saw a young lady running down the stairs of our deck. Then, looking out a side window, she watched the girl running off with a half-empty bag of charcoal, taken from our deck. A few minutes later, Lucas began barking, and Lindsey saw a young man on our back deck looking around my grill and smoker. She went out on the deck, certainly startling the young man, and asked him what he was doing. He made up what he thought to be a clever story about his dog running through our back yard, only to be shocked when Lindsey asked if he needed some charcoal to help find the pooch. Lindsey gave him the ol’ heave-ho, only to be interrupted a few minutes later by the doorbell. The two busted thieves stood on the front deck, bag of nabbed charcoal in hand, and tried to make sense of their senseless actions of thievery. “We thought no one was home…” And that justifies your actions, how? Lindsey kindly told the two busted “criminals” that she would have gladly given them the charcoal if they had but asked like good neighbors. But, there they stood as thieves, surely regretful, though most probably only because they had gotten caught.
If you know me at all, you probably know that I hate confrontation. Probably the only thing I hate worse than confrontation is for people to dislike me. [Why am I in ministry, you ask? I have no rational idea. What can I say, but that I’m a masochist?]
The predicament in which I found myself: I was confident that these kids hadn’t told their parents. In fact, I wasn’t even sure of who these kids were. I did, however, know that they either lived next door or were visiting the family next door. I also knew that I am both a husband and a father, that the parent’s next door needed to know what happened, and that I suddenly found myself with the responsibility of telling them that either their kids or dear friends of their kids had stolen from their new next-door neighbors.
Therefore, a confrontation must occur, and I would certainly feel weird about what the new neighbors might be thinking about me. Oh, well… A man I must be. After all, I have a couple of factors in my home that could prove deadly for a couple of idiot teenagers snooping around my home: babies and handguns. These kids next door needed to know, first, that I will not tolerate thievery, and second, that their actions were more stupid then they even know at the time. [This young couple living next door – That’s right, the couple with the adorable little kids. – we have guns for crying out loud! We are the last people you should be “robbing”!]
In the nicest way possible, I brought the situation to the attention of the father of the family. He was terribly embarrassed and completely remorseful. I ended our conversation explaining that I am willing to do anything I can, even give anything I can, to be a good neighbor to him and his family – just so long as it’s not taken…
The next morning, on my front porch was a brand new bag of charcoal. Well, there you go.