Part of what I did at the cold weather shelter a couple of nights ago was run a background check on everyone who stayed. The purpose is to make sure no sexual predators are in the shelter. After everyone is in and fed, I logged onto the website and starting typing in names. It was always kind of a relief when nothing showed up. Several of our guests had a very long list of charges. Almost all of them were for some type of stealing. Breaking and entering, petty theft and other such charges.
Years ago a member of our family was addicted to drugs and actually stole from his own parents. I know some people who in times of desperation have stolen from others to be able to keep going another day. I know the Bible says stealing is a sin; stealing actually breaks one of the Ten Commandments. I have never been able to go with apparent answers that don’t delve beneath the surface. Do most people steal because they are wicked or because they are wounded? Either motive produces the same result, but if we view the person as wounded it brings about more compassion for a fellow struggler. If we view a person as wicked, it prompts fear and harshness.
Wicked or wounded? Hmmm. Makes me ponder. Wicked or wounded? When I violate some truth, some rule of God or society, do I do that because of some evil lurking in me? We all have a dark side, no doubt, but I submit except for a sociopath, most of us who violate even our own values do so because in a wounded state we don’t think clearly and make poor choices.
I’m really thinking about how difficult life is to navigate. I’ve been gifted with a good mind, a good personality and decent looks. I had two parents who were involved with my life. I was able to graduate high school and even get a college degree. I’ve had enough drive to always be able to provide for my family. All those things are blessings God has allowed me to have. What if life has given you all the exact opposite? What if your mind isn’t so good, and your personality rather than gregarious is timid and what if you don’t look too good? What if you didn’t have involved parents or what if you didn’t have parents at all? What if you had to drop out of school to survive? How would you survive? What if in all this you made some poor choices and got a criminal record? How does someone dig themselves out of that hole?
So, these are the thoughts that have been swirling through my head and heart these last few days.
Wicked or wounded?