“Although my memory’s fading, I remember two things very clearly:
I am a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior.” (John Newton)
I remember looking at my phone at the bottom of the stroller and thinking, “I’d better put that somewhere safe in case it falls out.”
And so I did. I pulled it out and took a picture of Elliot standing proudly on a chair. That’s when I looked over at Isaac who had a “I-think-I-need-to-go-to-the-bathroom” look on his face. After three months of potty training and accidents, the last thing I wanted was to have an accident in the middle of the public library. So I did what any normal “mom-in-the-middle-of-potty-training” would do—I hustled to the bathroom. Three kids, stroller, baby carrier, balance bike, library books, and all.
It was over an hour later before I realized that I had everything but my phone.
So I did what any normal “mom-who-just-lost-her-phone-ID-and-credit-card” would do: PANIC!
For the next few hours, Luke and I cancelled our credit card, called the police, filed a report, and followed my phone’s location on Find My iPhone.
Now a strange thing happened while I was tracking my phone—I found myself channeling all of my pent up anxiety, fears, and anger at that little dot that represented the thief. I could barely tear my eyes away from the website lest I lose my phone’s location and thereby the opportunity to bring that person to justice.
At some point, I began to realize that maybe this wasn’t how Jesus wanted me to respond. Sure what that person did was wrong and my anger was justifiable, but if the police really did help me track my phone (which they didn’t) and brought the thief to me, what then? How does one forgive a nameless, faceless offender?
Two things helped me that day: First, I realized that the thief hadn’t taken anything of lasting value to me. Eventually, that iPhone would become obsolete, and thankfully, we cancelled our card before they had made more than a couple of fraudulent charges. But it is likely that my greater treasures—my children—were in the library at the same time as the thief—and they are still safe. For that, I am extremely grateful.
Secondly, I had to come to grips with the fact that I am also a thief—someone who has robbed God of the honor, glory, time, and money He deserves, and yet He has freely forgiven and pardoned me. If He has forgiven me so great a debt, how can I not forgive someone for taking something as insignificant as a phone?