Saturday, March 1, 2008

Confessions of a Sinner

This is the story about my one and only brush with criminal activity. When I was about eight years old, my family lived on the north side of Pueblo, Colorado. On that block lived many kids including a family named Brown who had a boy my age and a girl my sister's age and maybe a couple of other kids at that time. The Brown kids were known for always having homemade popsickles which they ate outside in front of all the other neighbor kids with no regard for our great need of having homemade popsickles too. I found their attitude to be very rude and selfish and totally unfair. I came to a decision to do something about this injustice.

One day when the Browns were gone, I took a small group of kids into their house. This was done easily enough since the door wasn't locked. Immediately I took the group into the kitchen and we helped ourselves to homemade popsickles. It was a wonderful and justified thing. And I decided that since we were already in the house, we should look around since we hadn't ever really seen the house before.

I was in the bedroom where I dripped pink popsickle juice (I never realized how much the word "popsicle" is like the word "pickle" until I started typing this story) on the white bedspread. Well, about that time, we all heard the Brown's car drive up outside. All the other children ran out the back door. I didn't. I shot under the bed.

I could see people's feet from my vantage point and could hear them (the people, not the feet) talking. My heart and brain were racing a mile a minute. What to do? What to do? I could either stay under the bed the rest of my life or I could slide out from under the bed and run out the backdoor. I chose the second option. I don't recall if the whole family saw me. However, I do know that the mother saw me. Needless to say (but I will say it anyway), I was not her favorite person from that time on.

I don't believe Mrs. Brown ever told my mother about this incident, so I never really got into trouble, which was either a good thing or a bad thing. I do know I never did anything like this again--God is good.

As an adult I understand why the child in me believed that a wrong had to be righted. Fairness was an extremely important issue. However, I do wonder why I didn't feel that stealing and breaking and entering were also wrong. And why didn't I feel any need to right those wrongs. I never apologized to the Browns. I was on their "bad" list for quite a while. And this wasn't the last episode I had with the Browns. A couple of years later they moved to a different neighborhood. Sometime after that, my family moved to the same block where they lived, and there were more contacts. I may tell you about them later.

The moral: Don't get so caught up in one thing to the exclusion of other important things.
OR: Always lock your doors.
OR: Share with the neighborhood kids if you know what's good for you.
OR: Don't ever hide under the bed to escape crime.


Kay said...

wow. I just don't know what to say.
My heart beat a little bit faster reading this. That hiding under the bed thing was too much.

I can't imagine you not being taught the truth about stealing in your home. But we all tend to nurture the truths that suit us and neglect those that don't, I guess.

Momstheword said...

Just couldn't stay away from those people named Brown. I sort of knew some of that story but can't remember if you told me or someone else told me. Some neighbor kids and I checked out an old empty house in our neighborhood one day. I don't think I would have had the courage to go in by myself because we thought it was haunted.
It wasn't empty. It had furniture in it and we looked around all the upstair rooms. We did get caught by someone's parent but I can't remember anything except a good scolding and a threat to call the police.

Jen said...

That is one of my favorite stories that you tell. I laughed and laughed and laughed while reading this and I've heard it 20 times.

"Don't get so caught up in one thing to the exclusion of other important things."

That moral is a great spiritual truth.

Julie said...

Well, I just don't know what to think! All of my foundation that was built in my youth is just a little wobbily right now...okay, I'm fine now.

QOTW said...

Well, I'm glad the daughter laughed. And I'm sorry the cousins were somewhat horrified and shaken. I'm sure I was taught that stealing was wrong. You have to remember that I didn't really think I was stealing--I was righting a serious wrong by the only means I could think of. I think I did nurture that truth and neglected the others. I don't think I could even see the other truths. (However, I did hide when the family came home. What does that say?) QOTW