Over the weekend we had the unpleasant experience of discovering we’d been burgled. It started when I noticed that my iPhone/iPad charger was gone from beside the bed. And then, where was the iPad? (one of my three favourite possessions). I knew it should have been in the house as I’d updated software on Thursday. It wasn’t until Ennis realised that her iPad, left on her side of the bed, was also missing, that we realised something nefarious was afoot. The bedroom door onto the balcony was unlocked, and there was no sign of breakage. We checked the “Find My iPad” app and sure enough, they were nowhere to be found. We called the police, who came round within the hour. Their first reaction was, “You sure someone in the family hasn’t just borrowed the iPads and hasn’t returned them?”. We then discovered gold wedding rings and engagement rings gone.
I knew, in an academic sense, that having your house burgled does strange things to the psyche. The previous tenants in our first house together had been burgled three times in three months, just before we moved in. The perpetrators, a group of teenage boys, were apprehended in our first week. We heard about the sense of violation (who’s been rifling through my private possessions), and the sense of insecurity (when might they strike again). I knew about mood swings. But now we got to experience all that for ourselves.
The weekend became infected with seething anger. My ability to deal with imperfection with grace was sorely tested, as my levels of frustration and anxiety surged. Maybe if I’d known exactly how it happened I might have felt I had more control over what happened next. But no, it’s a mystery. I just have to go back to one of my mottos for life, “Live with ambiguity and uncertainty without fear”.
And then there’s the loss. Sure, the insurance assessor was very reassuring, reminding us that iPads can be replaced very quickly. They can also be restored very easily thanks to the back up on Thursday! And the jewellery can be remade to give us something fairly close to what we had before, ready to be handed on to later generations. But any sense of permanency that goes with the concept of “Diamonds are forever” is now diminished.
I’m aware of the words of Jesus, “Store up treasures for yourself in heaven”, Matthew 6:20, which indicates that Jesus knew something about the cloud concept before it took off in digital storage terms. I recognise that legacy is not associated with acquired goods. It’s more linked with who I am, and the quality of my relational connection with God through the people around me.