This is a a fitting picture for today. It reads like a soap opera to tell the tale but the short story is that we let an old friend and his new girlfriend stay overnight. They were moving back to our community from afar. Met online a few months ago. Had been together for the few weeks that it took them to reach our house. At supper that night my spidy senses went berserk. Too many bits of her story didn't add up.
I ended up telling them after one night they couldn't stay at our house. That was hard to do. I had one of my kids come and change the lock codes on our doors as a precaution. I felt like I was being a bitch. A tape runs in my head that says Christians don't turn anyone away.
A few days later she took off with his car, identification and money without warning. We were out of town and when we got home he called from a homeless shelter where he'd been for several nights. I told Dearest One to go get him. He went to the police. Pressed charges. Cops asked him if he'd learned anything. Said he probably wasn't her first victim. Our friend looked broken and haggard and in need of mercy. (Aren't we all?)We tell him he can stay until he gets on his feet.
Fast forward a week or so. Dearest One sees her with the car and calls the cops. Turns out our friend and her are back together. He wants to see if he still has feelings for her. (insert sound of my head banging on the desk.) He gets his belongings and identification back. The money is gone though. Yesterday she sends desperate plea to Dearest One wanting to stay at our house again because she is sleeping in a car and has no food. We couldn't do it. We couldn't let her back in our house.
And I felt guilty for saying no. "Jesus where are you in her," I asked myself. She says she knows you. I would hate for people to judge me, by my at times awful behaviour, as I did the healing inner work through the years since becoming a Christian. I am a super slow learner. Hindsight is 20/20.
I've been trying to find some compassion. I've only been able to find a smidgen of it. I can't seem to find any mercy. I know people (both of them) only do these things out of desperation. I've done some stupid ass shit in my day. (like the time I went to a stranger's house and he locked the bedroom door by placing a butcher knife high up where I couldn't reach it between the door and its trim. Lots of people don't survive that shit.)
My sponsor yesterday gently said we were not responsible for fixing this woman's situation.
I just needed to hear someone say it.
Lord have mercy because I can't seem to find any.