Dear Lost Soul,
You have been on my mind a lot these last few days. It is natural, I suppose, that I wonder who you are. But it is more than that.
I have been pondering who you are on the inside, i.e. what it is that led you to be so broken, so lost, so hurt inside that you would intrude into my world uninvited to take a couple things that you felt you needed.
I imagine you standing in the cold, pulling the screen off my bedroom window and hearing my security system blasting at you the warning that police were being called. Yet you did not run then, as most would, but kept on going.
When I imagine you heaving a 35 lb cinder block through my window, I can only imagine what kind of desperation or anger must have fueled that act. Are you hungry? Are you cold and tired of living on the streets? Is there a drug that is controlling your life and you cannot escape the unending cycles of relief followed by retching illness when you have to have more? Is there some bitterness or rage, like a cancer eating away at your soul?
Most people expect me to judge you. “Scumbag” and “Low life” are the words they have for people who do what you have done.
But who am I to judge you?
Surely your sin has affected me. My week was considerably more stressful because of your act. A window to be boarded up. Police and detectives to be met. Some of these meetings at 2:30 in the morning. The loss of the material things is a minor matter but leaves a sadness in my heart nonetheless. How many times have I written, “My camera and I…” (My beloved companion now rests in someone else’s hands.)
However, as much as your sin affects me and the world, my sin affects you and the world as well.
When I am selfish or proud, when I am self-absorbed or indifferent, it is quite possible that I have made your struggle through life that much harder. If not your life directly, by imitating the sin of Adam, I have undoubtedly helped perpetuate the consequences of that original sin.
I have separated all of us just that much more from the living God. Each of us is subject to corruption in body, mind and spirit because of my sin. We are one and what I do affects all others.
I am not letting you off the hook, of course, for your sin does the very same thing. I am just saying that perhaps this letter is written to me as much as it is written to you. We are both lost souls.
However, through no merit of my own, I have come to know our Savior. And so I know it is not hopeless for people like you and me.
Part of me is wishing that the few drops of blood you left behind on my carpet, beneath the shards of broken glass, will help us to find you. It is not that I want to punish you but rather that I want to help you stop. I fear that whatever has hold of you may be very hard for you to stop by yourself.
In any event, know that you are beloved of God and that I pray for you. May you too find our Savior so that whatever is wrong in you may be made right. I wish you many blessings on your journey.
(To those inclined to worry about me, please be assured that I am fine. I’ve been rather stressed but that will pass. And no, I’m not afraid and no, I don’t plan to move. 😉 These things happen.)
Oh Mary! Oh my Lord.. Such trauma (inner, fortunately). But such a beautiful, compassionate response. I cannot imagine myself, or my wife, daughter, granddaughter, anyone’s daughter going through that, responding that way, loving God and God’s people, everyone of us, no exceptions, that at way. Your writing moved me towards prayer, but also towards gratitude.
I cannot help but believe that the compassionate response in my letter does not belong to me but rather to Christ who lives in me. For the letter began to write itself this morning while at church celebrating Eucharist. I am unworthy to have Christ living in me – but am ever so grateful that He is here. Pray for me that my sins never block the light of His presence. To Him be glory.