I noticed my credit card was missing a couple of days ago. This isn't anything new for me (wow, that's unfortunate to say!) I have this bad habit of putting it in my back pocket after I use it. It happens a lot if the kids are with me. I'm holding a baby, wrangling groceries, and 3 other kids…so yeah…a piece of plastic is easy to forget about.
The cashier set it in front of me and I didn't grab it. Oops…right? Haven't you done this before? Just made a mistake…just accidentally forgot to grab it? Normally, the person behind you would notice and catch you as you are loading your babies into the shopping cart. Well, not the lady behind me. She thought it might be more profitable to put it into her wallet and use it to spend nearly $900 within 3 little hours.
I didn't even notice it was missing until I went to check out. I went to hand the cashier my card and it wasn't there. I just assumed it was in one of my pockets of my dirty jeans. I didn't even think twice about it as all 4 kids were standing in the checkout line with me. It was the last thing on my mind.
Later I remembered that I couldn't find it, so I told James about it and we got to lookin'. No luck. We couldn't' find it anywhere. We checked every pocket, purse, diaper bag and grocery bag. The next morning we woke up to find all of the new charges.
I was so upset, James was more upset. I told him I would take care of it and he was off to work. I called the bank (they are so awesome!) they reversed the charges right away and told me to call the police and file a report. I did so and the sweetest police woman came to file my complaint. With a little digging she had found the woman within a couple of hours. She called to inform me that they found her on the surveillance video stealing my card and they were going to arrest her.
I was suddenly so sad. I was so sad that she was going to have to be punished for this. I was sad that she was going to have to pay thousands of dollars for her unfortunate mistake, and be humiliated by a public arrest. When I told that to the police officer she said "You are nicer than me, I'b be so excited for her to be arrested."
I just kept thinking "what if she has a family with small children?". The idea that she made a split second decision that is now going to cost her so much more than just money was really heartbreaking to me. We have all made mistakes, and we have all felt the sting of punishment.
I realized I had already forgiven her before she had even realized she had been caught. I was never angry, or upset. I was annoyed at the process it was taking me to reverse the charges and deal with the police report, but I was never mad.
Jesus has called us to love and forgive people.
ESV Romans 12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.When I expressing my sorrow to James he said "That is really sad, and the worst part about it all is that if she would have explained her situation to you, you probably would have given her $700". He is probably right. We are compassionate to those who are needy. It just breaks my heart.
Luke 6:27 But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
Romans 12:19-21 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Mark 12:31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Matthew 5:38-48 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.
I am not saying I am naive enough to believe that this particular woman used my credit card to charge $400 on baby formal and diapers. I have no idea what her situation is, but if she was truly (which we know she probably was not in a dire situation) in need we could have helped.
This world that we live in is so sad. Watching the world news is the most depressing thing I can do. Hearing about how selfish, greedy, and hate filled our world is is exhausting. Don't you think we could all be filled with a little more of Christ's love and a little bit less of Satan's anger? I know it's something we can all work on.
Just remember the wise message of Frozen: Fear and Anger Freezes while Love Thaws.
Wise words from Disney :)