I needed to write this letter to you. I was hoping to run out the feelings I had but God decided to use that last race for pure love. Only love was in my heart that day. Funny how that Guy is all about Goodness.
I'm still angry, hurt, shocked, sad and so many more emotions that I have a difficult time knowing exactly how I feel about what you did that day.
The police officer called it a crime of opportunity. I stupidly left my purse on my passenger seat. My twins are learning to share but when they hold on to something that they want to keep, they will shout out "MINES!". Yes, I thought 'mines' when I left my purse on my seat. Not yours.
The officer also said you likely watched me go into the gym. He said People Like You will target women. Knowing a woman going into a gym empty handed likely left her purse in the car. I have strong feelings about this. How dare you watch me?! How dare you watch me as I held my daughter's hand. I remember smiling down at her as she asked me if I was going to run fast. How dare you look at US?! If there is one moment in life I could take back, it would be that one. I'd rewind the clock and as we walked by you, I would scream get your eyes off of MY kid!
You made me feel like a victim. Helpless. Stupid. Weak. But I will not let you define who I am. I am not any of those things. I still tear up every time I think of that day, but that doesn't make you the winner. If anything, it is you who is helpless, stupid and weak.
What kind of man shatters a car window to steal something that doesn't belong to him? A weak one.
I wonder what you felt, as your body was hanging in my driver side window, reaching frantically across to the passenger seat to go through my purse. Surely you must have felt ashamed. No pride left in you. Stupid.
I wonder what you felt when you certainly saw the pictures on the dashboard of MY family and Jesus as you reached for my GPS.
Did you feel helpless by the decision you made that day to steal from me? Or did you feel powerful and thank me for being so blindingly trusting. Mines. You stole my things. You broke my car. But you didn't break me.
When I walked out to my car and saw the glass on the ground. My window shattered into thousands of pieces, it took me a second to process what had happened. I grabbed my daughter and ran back to the gym.
I remember the girl at the counter talking but I couldn't hear her. I needed to talk to my husband. But of course, you took my phone. It took me a while to figure out how to track him down, and when I finally heard his voice. The voice of a GOOD man. All I heard was "I'll be right there". I never even had to ask him to come.
The girl handed me a form but I couldn't read the words. I stood there staring at the paper with the pen in my shaking hand. At that moment, the manager walked up and took the paper from me, telling me he would fill it out. The girl called the police. All the while I just stood there.
My daugter came up and I felt her tug on my hand "Why are you crying, Mommy?" Oh. What? I hadn't realized I was crying.
When the officer on the phone started asking me questions, I had a hard time retrieving the answers. What kind of car? A honda. What kind? I....what? I don't know. I can't remember. I know those answers. But what you did temporarily made my brain feel like it was on slow-motion. I hated that you had that power over me.
I recently read a story about a man who invited the thief who attempted to steal his wallet to lunch. To talk. He wanted to mentor him and show him good. The thief went with him and eventually, when it was time to pay, he gave the victim his wallet back. A good, heart warming story. Maybe my heart is hard. But I won't be inviting you out to lunch. If I was so lucky to hear that you were caught, I'd hope you'd go to jail. Enjoy your lunch there.
But there is good from this. Lots of good.
You didn't enter my mind. Not once, on my race last Sunday. I'm grateful to God that he allowed my heart to feel only love that day for the people I was running for and that there was no room for the blackness I feel when I think of you.
When I spoke with Chris that day and tried to tell him what happened on the phone, I wasn't even able to speak in coherent sentences. I remember saying: The gym....window is broken...my things are gone. Hearing the words: I'll be right there made me realize I married the best man.
The police officer who came out was so patient and kind with me. He tried to make me smile. I knew from the moment he looked at the car that he knew he wouldn't be able to get any fingerprints. And yet he patiently took the time to try to find something. Anything to catch you.
The custodian who brought a broom out so that I could sweep the glass off my seat, ignored my request for the broom. I'll do it for you, he told me quietly. When I told him that wasn't necessary, he ignored me and took the time to sweep the glass and put down a towel on my seat. Apologizing for not being able to get the tiniest of pieces.
As for me? Well, I walked away from this experience a slightly different person. You made me realize people like you are out there. Parasites in a community of good people. I'll be more cautious and a little less trusting because of you.
And will I pray for you? Oh yes. I'll pray you are caught.