Sunday, August 25, 2013

Praying For Thieves

I found myself in front of the church gazing at the roses, which led me to think about the stolen rose bushes. Someone(s) had pilfered three new rose bushes from a street side median. They had been placed there to beautify the old, eclectic neighborhood, and now that spot of arid dirt was once again barren. I can't understand how someone could plant stolen rose bushes in their yard and look at them with appreciation everyday. Maybe they were stolen and sold. Roses are so beautiful and stand for so many beautiful things.

My thoughts drifted to the consistent theft that I experienced while working in a department store. The same group of family and friends, in various numbers or singly, would regularly steal throughout the store. They would shop each holiday, sports event and season, stealing housewares, clothing, children's items, costumes and anything else they could conceal. They stole at Easter, and they stole for Harvest/Halloween. They stole before game day, and at Christmastime. I can't imagine how it feels to laugh and play and enjoy life in a home filled with stolen items, and to care for children whose every item of apparel has been stolen.

We know that there are many types of theft in many different circumstances. When we pray for thieves, we are praying for ourselves as well. We can be stealing, pilfering, pinching, cheating, misrepresenting and misappropriating, and not recognize it, denying it, hiding from it, justifying it and whitewashing it. It is not so much the act as the tiny thought in the heart.  We know about the heart of man, don't we? (Jeremiah 17:9)

So let's pray for thieves and most of all, for the thoughts that lead to chronic and acute thieving and dishonesty. Let's pray for the healing of hearts with a propensity towards stealing. Pray for thieves, and let us pray for each other, while we're at it.
Image Credit: Eric K Washington, flickr

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