I want to be known as a husband to Lauralea. A dad to my kids, papa to my grandchildren and just a guy who followed Jesus.
I've been helping churches get healthier for a long time, and usually that's about praying and staying a long time in the same place.
If there can be anything good that can come out of being robbed last week, I think that one of the good things has been the conversations we've been able to have with people in this community. And people are afraid.
Even though its about shadows and noises in the night, there is real fear out there. It's a very motivating thing for this community.
Guys are going to bed with loaded guns, alarm systems are being installed, new deadbolt locks are being put on doors, dogs are being purchased, and for at least one homeowner I spoke with, they are barricading their doors overnight. Fear is motivating us.
If I needed convincing that the fear is real, living through the dark middle of the night fear of the past week convinces me that people will do whatever they can, to dispel the fear because it can be traumatizing. Even for people who are simply neighbours of people effected by last weeks events.
In a way, this fear causes us to build defensive walls that remove from us any vulnerability to the outside world. This is a safety response, but it can also be dangerous.
Its dangerous to us because the protective walls we build, also become walls that keep us in. They start to look a lot like prisons after a while.
And we build prisons of fear, of addiction, of abuse. In our desire never to be vulnerable again, we create structures that we think will protect us. And we are just walling ourselves in. Prisons.
It takes some courage in times like these, to be bold and a bit vulnerable, and to pray the prayer that David prayed when he was trapped in a cave and in deep fear for his life; "Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name."
That's been my real prayer for us and for this community this past week. That God would set us free from our prisons of fear.
Tonight as I go to sleep, with the doors and windows wisely closed and locked, that's still my prayer for you our neighbours throughout this community. That God would set us free from prisons of fear.
It's been a long day here.
It began with me getting up early and finding my phone not where I left it last night.
Then finding a window pushed wide open, the screen gone.
The heart begins to struggle to make sense.
Then seeing the door to the garage open, and walking out there and seeing a door to the outside open too. The garage trashed, car doors open and belongings scattered around.
You try to process the information, and all the information says that someones been in the house in the night and has taken your things. But its difficult to think that way, because of where we live and because we live fairly careful of such things.
But there it is, and as the list of things missing or messed with starts to add up, your mind starts to give in to the fact that you've been robbed. Worse, some unwanted person has been in your house and caused violence to it, and so to you.
I've been robbed on the streets before, my office has been burgled, cars broken into and things taken, many bikes stolen, but never have we known this feeling we've known today.
Its ben a day of RCMP, and contact with neighbours whose shops and yards were burgled too. There were at least seven families affected, two of us actually had the people inside our homes. They quickly moved through the house, grabbing things they could carry, rifling through shelves, drawers, and things that looked valuable. Then exited, all while we slept.
We are left to sort out our feelings, and our losses. Through the day we find another area they went through, we try to remember what was there before, not sure if we can trust our memories after this experience.
But in the scope of the worlds deep needs this night, our pain feels small. Yes it is legitimate, as are our neighbours feelings of violation. But we are safe and we are blessed to live here, in spite of this small violence.
We will live even more securely, making sure there are NO ways into the house. I imagine one day we'll stop checking on every house noise, and we'll stop rechecking the door locks. But for now around here it just feels kind of vulnerable, and sad.
Tomorrow we'll start trying to figure out insurance.