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1.07.2013

COMMANDMENT NUMBER EIGHT


Yesterday my husband and I witnessed a car theft. It happened so fast my mind couldn't process what was happening. To my knowledge I've never personally seen a real life auto theft barring TV or the movies. 

Because we have a four foot window above our kitchen sink, we spend a great deal of time it seems looking out it.  Standing there you can see a couple of blocks down the street to the west.  We have front row seats to the comings and goings of anything coming from the west; bikers, runners, people walking dogs, kids walking to school, the high school cross country team out on their practice miles, school buses, the occasional patrolling city police car, and sometimes groups of kids congregating for only God knows what.  Depending on the day, though traffic slim, there is usually activity of some type occurring out that window. 

From the west, if I am on the backward side of run coming from the west, and Doug is in the kitchen, he can see me coming from 2 or more blocks away.  There are times I feel a bit like Mrs. Kravitz from "Bewitched", the nosy neighbor lady who knew everything that went on in the neighborhood.  I know who drives what car and where they live in the area surrounding our house. 

We looked up from messing with our iPhones out that kitchen window to see a car whipping itself crazily and recklessly out of a driveway 2 houses to our west.  Trying to make sense of what we were seeing we watched it barrel toward the stop sign on the corner where we live.  It stopped with a jerk just on the other side of our patio fence.  There are only slivers of places to see through the fence so it sounded like a car door opened and someone hastily got in or the driver opened his door to dispose of something before slamming it shut. 

Running to the front window I saw the Buick Le Sabre bolt through the intersection heading east like he was running from something, rushing someone to the hospital or possibly letting the anger of a domestic dispute color his driving skills. The almost deadly reckless way in which they drove was startling.  It was 2 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon.  Car theft never entered my mind.  It was broad daylight on a street full of houses and people who would have been home. 

Thankful I am that it was not a murder or a domestic violence situation.  No one was harmed, physically anyway.  But it made me angry. Disrupting the flow of the neighborhood, taking something that isn't yours, and bringing crime to where I live makes me angry and sad. Doug walked out to talk to the police officer, giving him the account of events that we witnessed from the kitchen window..

It's unsettling to think that 2 houses away a car was stolen in the middle of Sunday afternoon.  It's disturbing to think that there are those out there who have no respect for the property and lives of others.  It's angering to think that no one seems to be exempt from violence or crime any more. 

It's heavy and burdensome to have to now be consciously aware of our circumstances and environment at all times, even in places that we think are safe - schools, our own driveway, sitting in a movie theatre, getting your hair cut, walking in a mall, or even sitting in a church service.

I felt violated and intruded upon.  I felt disgusted that I now could no longer enjoy the luxury of warming up my car in the cold garage to get my seat warmers good and hot before leaving for work.  I felt sad that tonight when I ran I was overly conscious of everything I saw or where I ran.  I felt bad for the woman who had her vehicle stolen from her driveway, turning her life upside for a season. 

That woman today is without her Buick Le Sabre.  Chances are statistically even if it is found it will be trashed.  She was invaded in a highly personal way in a house she had only lived in for several months.  What a horrific welcome to our neighborhood which no doubt has left her scared, shaken and probably angry as well.

Everything seemed overtly loud in the night hours last night.  I heard even the newspaper carriers steps through the crunchy snow from our house to the neighbor's house.  I will just never understand the mindlessness of crime or the lasting effects it leaves.  It's a basic principle though isn't it. . . 

Love gives all it has at great cost to self. 
Evil takes what it will to get whatever it wants at great cost to others.

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