Sunday, August 4, 2013


Yesterday I listened to an episode of This American Life from a week back called "The View From In Here". In Act One, we hear about the story of an inmate and corrections officer who had sat down together to share a real conversation for the first time. This was put together after the inmates watched a documentary called "The House I Live In", which talks about, among other things, how the war on drugs has perpetuated a vicious cycle of locking away drug offenders for relatively short stints that render them unable to earn an honest dollar because they are turned away from jobs and college grants due to their record.

Much like all of us, in a way, these offenders have to do whatever it takes to make a dollar. As a result of their situation, they choose selling drugs or theft to line their pockets. If I were them, I'd probably do the same thing.

There are a lot of things I could write about today, like most days. Last night my car was broken into for the third time since I moved to Tacoma. Like the first time, I did myself no favors by parking in an empty Foss High School parking lot instead of paying the measly five bucks for parking at Cheney Stadium for the Rainiers game. In my defense, crowds have been so thick for the only two other games I've been to that parking here seemed like a natural and popular choice. Regardless, this was not the case tonight and I ended up with a rock through my window and down a stereo face plate and iPod again.

Thanks in part to the comforting presence of Aly, I reacted more calmly than the last two times. There was not much I could do after the fact and knew this was an avoidable situation. If we'd have biked there or parked in the stadium lot I'd still have a passenger side window. If I'd have brought my valuables instead of leaving them in the glove compartment then I'd still have them. Nothing to do but clean up the mess and replace what I'd lost.

The One Awesome Thing today is that I can do that. I have the money and ability to replace my window, stereo, and iPod if I want to. I live in a house with a garage to keep my windowless car safe until the missing one is replaced.

Who knows what the story is of the man or woman who busted my window to earn themselves a hundred bucks for my old stuff. What I do know is that my story is different. It is one of privilege. I came from a family that raised me well and provided for me. I learned the value of a dollar and have done what it's taken to earn the dollars I have. I came from a family of resourcefulness, which has resulted in the privilege I've provided for myself to be able to afford a comfortable lifestyle. For this I am forever thankful to God for providing.

It's easy to get down on yourself or others when something awful like this happens. How often we forget how much God has blessed us in these times. Bad things happen to good people all the time, but we are quick to forget that good things happen to good and bad people all the same.

Let us thank God for the blessings He has provided today. The sins of my assailant and myself have been washed away with the blood of Christ. Neither of us deserve it, so we've already received far more than we shall ever need.