God Works in Mysterious Ways – even, or especially, through a week of trauma.
Last weekend my husband (DH for dear hubby) and I were helping a man who started coming to our church about four weeks ago. DH felt God directed him/us to help this man by employing him to do work around the house as DH has been feeling poorly. The man was helpful last Friday at the men's lunch program to a local elderly apartment. DH let him drive him home after checking his license. He wanted to be assured the man was a safe driver as DH was planning to let him borrow his car. The man worked hard with DH on Saturday.
After church on Sunday DH drove the man to another of our properties to review some work needed there. Also DH was thinking he might offer to let the man and his family stay there for a week or so as the man said his wife and kids were coming to see him in the next couple of weeks. DH let him borrow the car so he wouldn’t have to pick him up at 6:30am on Monday morning to begin more work before the heat of the day.
Sunday night the fellow returned to our home, explaining that he had been kicked out of the place where he was staying which was a commercial warehouse and not a dwelling place. DH decided it would be okay for him to stay the night in our spare room and then he would get the utilities turned on at the other property.
Monday morning the man did good, manual work with DH. It seemed like God had supplied a man who could help with all the chores DH can no longer handle. DH had to spend the afternoon at the doctor’s office getting testing done. After dinner the man borrowed DH's car to pick up pay from another church member with whom he had worked. I waited up until midnight but the man didn't return that night. DH goes to men’s prayer at church early Tuesday morning. He was out and I heard the man in the guest room, and briefly saw him pass through the hall, but he came and left before DH returned from church.
When DH got home he discovered two of our grandchildren's savings jars were missing. Apparently DH learned from one of the other church men that the stories of this man’s family coming were false and the man was a thief. DH had to go to Alabama to his heart doctor that afternoon. He locked the house up and came to the office to give me the keys and tell me what was going on. He had contacted the police to report the situation and learned there was a warrant out from another county in Florida.
The man still had DH's car and our neighbors were watching our house. They called late Tuesday to advise the car was at our house. We arrived shortly after the police but the car was gone. We discovered he had broken in through the doggy door in the back. The man left his clothes in the bedroom and in the washing machine but stole two more jars of money and two of my tablets. (One had recently broken and I had brought the other home form the office and it was on the charger.) Another deputy came to take the report and at that point we reported the car as stolen also.
Wednesday evening the car was located at the McDonald’s near our church. When we went to pick it up the battery was dead. The Deputy was able to jump the engine so we got it home. We were relieved to find the car keys, the garage opener (DH had unplugged the garage door) and another bundle of keys (to the other house and more) in the car. Thursday DH discovered the problem was not a bad battery but a bad connection. He attributes this to God’s hand so the man would abandon the vehicle.
Thursday morning DH was about to call one of the Deputies to say thank you for their help when he received a text from the man. DH had texted him to say that he owed him for the work he had done. The man texted saying he 'had messed up; was sorry and could DH send the money by Western Union'. DH told the Deputy on the phone that the man was probably near a Western Union office in town. Within the hour they arrested the man at a store/station that had a Western Union desk.
The total missing cash was probably $120.00 and the tablets can be replaced. There is damage to our door but all in all the betrayal was certainly more painful.
You don’t realize the trauma of such an event unless you go through it. We lived under lock and key for two days. DH spent all of Wednesday in our motor coach watching over the house in case the man came back. I have started taking my purse to the bedroom and hiding it when I used to just set it on the dining room side board. I also have been removing my car keys which I didn’t used to. The sense of safety in our home is still rocky as I worry who this man might have spoken to and told about us and our home. I tense even when someone comes to the door as I can’t see well through the peep hole.
DH and two other men noted how God has a plan we don't always see. The other church men have met with the thief to express their concern for his welfare (mostly his soul). The man is apparently a son of a pastor and he knows the Bible very well. He had been arrested for burglary in 2002 and was given four years on probation. He served one year and then split. That was the outstanding warrant. He told our church men that he has been living with a similar pattern of deception and addictions (cocaine and alcohol) for thirteen years! DH is convinced that God wanted us to be obedient and through the circumstances this man was brought into custody. Whether he will be broken and submitted to God will be his own decision to make. We do forgive him… although that doesn’t mean I will be fully comfortable of my house safety for some time. Please pray for this man to get help and resolve his life so he can be reconciled – to his family and, most importantly, to his Heavenly Father.
Topping the week off DH hat a heart catheterization done Friday and learned that he has a severe blockage. He will see the surgeon on Tuesday to schedule open heart surgery for a bypass. Please keep us in prayer for these times.
Things could have been much worse and I am mindful of the many tragedies throughout the states this past week. Our country, and world, need much prayer!