Dear Bad Guys,
I’ll be honest: I really don’t like you right now, and I’m generally a pretty Silver Linings kind of person.
I don’t like that your presence in our house, our home, is still constantly felt. I don’t like that you rifled through every drawer and file and shelf you thought might contain something you needed. I now understand the meaning of the word violation more than ever, yours the hands that rifled through my f*&$ing underwear drawer. (Cuss, cuss, exclamation point, exclamation point).
I do hope my Spanx were to your satisfaction.
I don’t like that we’re still discovering items you deemed more useful to you than to us, and I don’t like the headache of paperwork you’ve caused. I hate that when I awake in the middle of the night to a strange sound, my brain is fraught with worry and my heart beats harder, harder, harder, and I wonder if it’s you again. So I righteously shake my fists at the anger and I let myself feel the sadness and I acknowledge the fear that your actions have instilled within me.
Sure, much of what you took is replaceable, but my eyes glass over at the irreplaceable you stole: most of the pictures of our son’s first 14 months of life and my own writing and speaking and graduate coursework, all of which are likely lost and erased forever. [One word to the wise, friends: DropBox. External hard drives are apparently a wanted item in the thievery scheme of things.]
But Bad Guys, as I always, always seem to say and write and believe, even if I’m ever in need of a reminder or two, even though this whole situation is hard, it’s still good-hard. Because Goodness and Beauty and Life still remain. We’ve been upheld by the constant support of our community, by those who’ve held our arms when we can’t seem to raise them ourselves. We’ve received texts and e-mails and phone calls from friends and family, their own actions an empowering and redemptive reminder of the peace and healing and calm Christ brings. Your actions have banded our neighborhood together in a new way, even if it’s not the way we would have envisioned idyllic. And most of all, Mr. Burglar, by breaking in to our house, you’ve reminded this whole little network of people around us of what is really important: that we’re safe, and that we have each other, for you’ve not won the war.
As I read this morning from a friend, and from the wise, wise words of Frederick Buechner: Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Do not be afraid. So world, I embrace you in all your beauty and terror, in the good and in the bad, in the hard and in the easy. And still I choose to lean into Life, and to shout, Bad Guys, you ain’t got nothing on me!
But seriously, could you get yourselves another day job?
Maybe someday I’ll hug you and sign this letter “xoxo,” but not today.
What about you? Have you experienced a break-in, a violation of sorts? I know it’s not the end of the world, but it’s rocked us none the less, so I give myself permission to feel what I’m feeling. Thank you, meanwhile, for holding us up.