We got a call late evening last night that the police had found our stolen truck lodged in the mud on the side of the road on a two lane heavily partied area near a popular beach. These are photos taken in the dark, but they give some idea of what we found when we got there.
Probably, because the area is well-traveled, the location may have prevented them from stripping down the vehicle all the way...tires, etc. As it was, EVERYthing from the interior that could be removed by hand hastily was. Registration papers, everything from all compartments, our many tools and supplies we kept in the back for our work, and even stupid stuff...all gone. The gift they left us was the aroma of pot smoking and spilled beer, damage to the inside and outside we're not entirely sure yet the full extent is till we get it to a mechanic, and an abandoned cooler left in the truck bed.
One of the dents. The side door doesn't close well as a result. And soon I will discuss my FEELINGS about people who do this to other people's property just for the fun of it.
These smudges are where the deputy dusted for fingerprints...and got some good ones. I hope some are in the state computer and that they get prosecuted.
Darn, they'll have to funtion without their cooler! Here's the one they left behind. The party's over, losers.
We are VERY fortunate that the vehicle was recovered in this good condition, even though it might not be such good condition. It IS driveable...though we don't know if safely so. But being violated with this theft goes way beyond the inconvenience associated just with the vehicle itself. This has cost us a lot of money, and will until it's fully repaired and useable. It's cost us security...think house keys, driver's license, garage door opener, car alarm controller, wallet, cash, checkbooks, credit cards, SS cards, clothing with work logos, bills to be mailed...well, the list goes on and on, and so will the damage control. I'm not saying this feeling sorry for us...I'm saying it's a huge pain in the neck to try to outthink crooks fast enough before they can do us more damage from afar, to our bank accounts and so on. We moved quickly on those things...hopefully we covered all the ground we needed to, without forgetting something. There's still a lot of follow-up needed as a result.
I don't usually post on the blog on our day of rest (Saturdays). I did want to shout a huge THANK YOU and YAY to God and our friends here (you guys!) and let you know the truck's found.......whew!! :)
And because I'm me and it's shabbat, and because I feel violated by some drugged-up thieves who would still be running our only vehicle into the ground were it not for their bad driving while drunk and high, and our good fortune that they couldn't get the truck un-stuck from the ditch they wound up in, I'm going to wax "religious" for a moment (though I don't prefer the term, but for lack of a better one am using it)
Some people have a lot of mistaken assumptions about Jewish belief. Or I might just call it scriptural belief usually associated with Judaism, since Jewish belief can really run the gamut depending on the Jew. So I'll be referring to MY personal belief, but anyway...
Here's one of the myths. "The Old Testament is about judgement, not mercy or grace"
Here's Robbyn's take from being a child of both "sides" of that view. There is a distinct difference between doing justice and taking vengeance. In any just society, there must be laws that uphold right and give consequences for doing wrong, or there is no right and wrong. Doing justice is talked about constantly in the Bible as the distinguishing characteristic of those who love God and want to live peaceably with their neighbors. Where this ever got confused with wreaking vengeance and was determined to be wrathful and unforgiving, I have my personal suspicisions based on history, but it has nothing to do with a lack of grace and mercy.
As much as I might feel I've like to find the perpetrators who stole our vehicle and trashed it, and take a baseball bat to their vehicles, and maybe even to them, there are laws in place that determine the right and wrong ways to prosecute these people if they ever come to light, and to deter them from victimizing others in the same way again. The law, which in this case is our government's law, is there to protect the victim and to insure that the consequence for the crime does not surpass the crime itself...that vengeance cannot be exacted. Were someone to stalk and physically injure thieves for something like this, our government's law states that that is way beyond an appropriate measure for the crime committed. You don't do the electric chair for a traffic violation, and so on.
There are those who would say that having a changed heart for God means you turn the other cheek and negate the need for law and its judgements. Well, it might be interesting to count the occurences of the terms "judgement" and "justice" in the Tanakh/OT and realize they were there to protect both the victims and the perpetrators from unfair measures. The oft-quoted and much-misunderstood phrase "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" is a perfect example of this. In most quotes, it's maligned and used for a quick-reference quote to supposedly illustrate that if someone hurts you, you have the right to hurt him right back, buddy...an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth...take THAT! No, that's out of context, if anyone cares to read the surrounding verses where it occurs. The meaning of "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" is amid the instructions of not wreaking vengeance, but that no consequence should ever exceed the crime itself. We have no right to over-prosecute someone out of anger and revenge. Someone back into our fence and damages a section of it? They pay restitution for the replacement of that section of fence, but don't have to re-fence our entire property. Someone tailgates and rear-ends a car? They pay for the damages that result from that, but don't have to buy new cars for every passenger who was riding along that day.
The grace part comes in where? That there is a just system found within the Bible and it is neither thrust on those who don't want to be a part of it, nor is it denied to those who do. It's interesting that most christians don't realize that Jesus was a Jewish leader who promoted the keeping of the law and taught that it would never go away, never presented a message that went counter to it, or it would have disqualified him as messiah to his followers.
But I'll stop there :)
I'm angry about our truck, but grateful we have it back. If they do find the thieves, they should be prosecuted to keep them from doing this to anyone else. I'll forgive them and won't indulge in any baseball bat-to-their-personal-property scenarios. But yes, they need the consequences, the "just measures" determined by law, or they'll do it again and again, or worse.
This momentarily ends my diatribe. Back now to relaxing with my hubby and also our endearing canine furball.