On Being Broken Into

As I took the dogs for a walk this morning, reflecting on what I might write in the newsletter about next month’s theme of “brokenness”, I noticed some papers in the gutter next to my car. Moving closer, I discovered that they were actually documents that had been in my glove compartment. Yes, my car was “broken” into!

The “Minister on Emergency” sign that I keep on hand in case I have to park somewhere questionable while “on duty” had been tossed onto the back seat, along with the easel and pad I store in there. What was missing was the two duffel bags filled with all the things recommended to folks in this area by the American Red Cross: flashlights, batteries, extra eye-glasses, food, water, blankets, first aid kit, toiletries and personal emergency contact information list.

Losing the former doesn’t concern me much, as I’m hoping that it might now actually be put to good use. But recalling what was on the list made my heart skip a few beats. Do I want some stranger to know all of that information? What if it leads to identity theft or other criminal acts? In my imagination I saw the person who did this, sneaking into a nearby alley, riffling through those bags. Identity theft is a real concern, causing a huge amount of stress and financial problems for victims.

But then I saw that person, in my mind’s eye, coming upon what was stored in the side pocket: a bottle of bubbles, some art supplies and a book of poetry by Rilke. And I couldn’t help but laugh – realizing that those items had more to do with my identity than that list of numbers! And I’m hoping, really hoping, that they intrigue and inspire that stranger more than anything else that was found in my car!

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