Thursday, October 17, 2013


“Dial 911!  I’ve been robbed!”

I was where I love to be--sitting outside enjoying a cup of coffee and writing.  A young man came up to my table and asked, “What Starbucks is this?”  I didn’t give it much thought and told him.  He hung around close to my table and appeared to be on his cell phone.

Then suddenly in a blur he was ripping my laptop out of my hands!  He took off running with it.  I was so shocked I let him get about 10 feet away before I leaped to my feet and started chasing him.  Two other men also gave chase.  One jumped in his truck while the younger man and I ran after the thief between buildings and up a grassy slope.  But alas, he was younger, much faster, and headed right to the get-away car, which sped away before we could get the license plate number.

As we pursued him, I shouted:  “You aren’t stealing my computer.  It is the Lord’s!”  (Real spiritual, don’t you think?)  Then, I followed it up with a very spiritual scream, “You Jerk!!!”

I have now been robbed or threatened three times in the past year.  A particular verse comes to mind quite often these days:  The thief approaches with malicious intent, looking to steal, slaughter, and destroy; I came to give life with joy and abundance.   John 10:10 The Voice

Then I thought about this from the perspective of marriage.  The thief of godly relationships hangs around the table of your marriage with malicious intent just waiting for you to look at your spouse with contempt or disrespect.  He will jump at any chance to steal your love, to slaughter your commitment, and to destroy your relationship.

Think of the damage a divorce brings.  The years you spent dating and married are all tainted, if not destroyed.  The people around you (mother, father, brothers, sisters, friends) are all now left to choose sides.  They are uncomfortable with the elephant of divorce in the room.  Then, of course, there are the children.  They have their need of a stable home stolen away for life.  I could go on and on, but I am sure that you know the damage of divorce.

But the good news is that God offers us life, with joy and abundance.  Wow! That sounds great.  The problem is that much of our Christian experience is passed along through platitudes rather than practical teaching.

Regarding being robbed, I have now learned some valuable lessons.  I need to be aware of something the police told me after the crime about what he called, “Apple Picking”.  It is a new wrinkle in crime.  Thieves walk through a restaurant, or better yet, outdoor café and simply grab an IPhone or laptop or tablet and hustle out the door.  I have learned to keep my phone in my pocket at a restaurant and that someone designed cables you can purchase for your laptop so it can be locked to a table or your arm for that matter.  If I had been told this before that fateful afternoon, I would have saved myself a lot of grief.

We can save couples grief by giving them Biblical, practical tools to fix, restore, and grow their relationship.  Whatever the need and time of life, the Bible has solutions.  We need to equip an army of mentors who can come alongside pre-married couples, couples in trouble, and couples who simply want what God promises--life, with joy and abundance.  It can be theirs.  It can be yours for that matter.  We need to start handing out tools with instruction.

Now all we have to do is show couples how to protect the laptops of their lives.  Don’t let the enemy of our souls pick the “apple of your eye” and turn your life upside down.

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