Although I am fairly certain this will never be read by you – unless you’re the kind of guy (and let’s just shoot straight here, we’re assuming you’re a guy) who boosts cars by night and reads mommy blogs by day – but I kind of have to reach out somehow because our lives have been entangled like this and I have no other way of doing so.
I am probably just projecting my own desire to hear your side of the story, but I rather like to think you’d want to hear mine. The car you stole has been mine since college. My dad bought it for me by proxy from a family out in Oregon, and then the summer after my semester in Paris the two of us road-tripped in it across the country, ending up back at my school in the fall. My husband DanO and I took both our first and second babies home from the hospital in that car. I know, you’re impressed, right? You should have seen the Tetris game we had to play to get two infants in the back seat of that sucker. But it suited us so well. Until it didn’t.
We had stopped driving that car as a family (the one you stole) when we brought home the minivan in December. In fact, we didn’t even notice it gone until more than 24 hours after you took it. Unfortunately for us, we hadn’t yet taken out the high-end umbrella stroller we sprang for when our oldest was little and we were traveling a lot. I hope that doesn’t get tossed into a dumpster somewhere; it’s a really nice one. Could you at least give it to someone who could use it?
And let’s just talk about that someone who could use it thing, shall we? When the police were over here on Sunday (which, by the way, our oldest thought was super fun to have the ‘poweece officers’ in our living room) they enlightened us a lot about the goings-ons of car theft. Seems like you (and perhaps your buddies) weren’t even interested in the car itself, given that 9 blocks away you stole another one of the exact same model that same night. Best we can tell, you wanted it for parts. Which actually makes our past break-in make a lot more sense. I don’t even remember when it was now, maybe last spring(?), a window on that same car was smashed (see above) and someone stole the dashboard console. They straight jacked our speedometer. At first we were like who does that?! but now we are starting to understand that stealing car parts or cars for parts is kind of a thing.
The police expect to find it up on blocks somewhere in the area in the next few weeks.
For now we are more than capable of getting along with one car. We are also blessed to have auto insurance that covers theft with a pretty small deductible so in case you were at all worried: we will be fine. We really will. So fine, in fact, that when we saw it missing from in front of our house on Sunday morning, we just kept driving and went to church as we’d been planning. What do you do, really? You march on, you thank God you are able to afford the insurance and that you own another car that is warm and fits your whole family.
Once we got to church that morning, we were still raw from that ‘socked in the gut’ feeling of violation that comes with theft. (We go to church near here and love the energetic, diverse body of Christ that meets there on Sundays. Woodland Hills Church. You should check it out.) The morning announcements included informing us that there had been recent break-ins into cars in our church parking lot. There DanO and I are, sitting in the audience and being told about the potential for more crime. It was enough to make me want to jump up and run outside to make sure our other car was still there. The announcer said that the best thing we can do is lock our cars and not leave valuables in them. “The people that broke in,” she said “have unsurpassable worth as human beings made in the image of God, but we don’t want to tempt them by leaving iPads on our seats.”
There it was. Did you hear it? Because I sure did.
I’ll be honest. The first thoughts that went through my mind after realizing that you took our car were not favorable toward you. But literally moments later, I’m sitting in church and the children’s pastor reminds me of your unsurpassable worth as a human being.
So, that’s really what this letter is about. When it boils down, I don’t much care why you took our car or what you do with our Maclaren stroller. I care that you know that you have unsurpassable worth as a person made in the image of God for whom Christ died. I care that you know that I think that about you, too. I don’t really know what it takes to get mixed up in whatever you’re mixed up in, but I do know that if I could, I would look you in your face and tell you that I love you. And that God loves you.
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“Jesus told us each and every one has unsurpassable worth; that all alone they are worth the price He paid.” -Troy Livesay