Tuesday, November 29, 2016


Robbed By a Gang in Broad Daylight

There were three of them.  They were powerfully built and white. In hindsight I can see that I was clearly outnumbered and really didn’t stand a chance.  These gang members were all younger, more agile and definitely more aggressive than I am.  Their assault left me feeling cheated and vulnerable.  The attack was completely unprovoked and unexpected.

It all happened toward the end of summer.  My wife and I were enjoying a rare day off by the beach.  We felt safe, as we meandered down a famous boardwalk not far from the Big Apple.  We had just enjoyed a hamburger at an outdoor cafe. The boardwalk was not crowded, but there were quite a few people milling around the vicinity.  I felt safe. Since I was guessing it to be one of the last warm days of the year, I was contentedly devouring a double scoop ice cream cone.  I had eaten most of the ice cream and had begun to take pity on the sugar cone when I was viciously attacked.

My only warning came from my wife who suddenly looked my direction and blurted out my name. Immediately I caught movement out of the corner of my eye.  The first gang member came at me from behind - over my left shoulder.  He knocked my half-eaten ice cream cone out of my hand.  Before I had a chance to even absorb what had just been done, two other gang members swooped down, snatched the cone and ice cream off the pavement and flew off to find their next victim.

When it was over we laughed.  My loss was less than two dollars.  But the experience did get me thinking; with seagulls that aggressive, how was a person supposed to eat an ice cream cone without being robbed.  I was not luring the birds, nor was I giving them easy access. I was safely holding my cone just a foot or so from my mouth.  Would someone need to cup their hand over the ice cream, or hunch over the tasty dessert in order to protect it?  I suddenly felt at risk and life didn’t seem fair. 

That is when my mind wandered to a much more serious issue.  So many people have been hurt, robbed or abused in ways far more serious than I had just experienced.  The emotions and thoughts that ensue from a tragedy, a serious assault or years of abuse have left millions of people feeling unsafe, devalued, vulnerable and afraid.  This is the result of mankind ignoring God’s counsel and allowing things like greed and selfishness to drive them to hurt, abuse and steal from their fellow man.  They rob them of far more than money or innocence.  Our world is reeling from the effects of selfishness and sin.  How can a person find peace and joy in such a world?

Jesus warned us that the world would be like this and that it would actually get worse and worse. But, He also promised that He would fill those who would believe in Him with the love and power necessary to live fulfilled lives in a broken world - even when robbed and abused.  Are you feeling vulnerable… alone… hurt?  You may be surprised to discover that a relationship with Jesus can change all that.  He is not offering you religion; He is offering you a relationship that will change you from the inside out. He also offers eternal life in a place where no one steals, abuses or hurts anyone.

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