I was struck by her furtive glances. Flashlight shining into the darkness, every towering flower and blooming bush suddenly a threat to safety and a sense of home. More than her favorite purse or credit cards, the thief that held up my friend this weekend stole her peace of mind.

Watching her from my car until her gate slammed shut with her safely inside and I was struck that beyond any true bodily harm we might inflict or have inflicted on us, the treachery we impose on each other is a stealing of …

…home, peace, faith.

The other day I lost a friend. He didn’t die. He may not even know he is gone from me. But his actions have stolen a piece of my faith in people. In the idea that someone might think of me and what I offer in friendship as something valuable enough to not throw away on a whim. And so my faith has slipped. Maybe it isn’t stolen…maybe just misplaced for a while.

And more than time or energy or any tangible thing, my faith in the basic goodness of people…the human capacity for compassion and respect…has been upset.

And in no way is it the same as my dear sweet beautiful friend searching for a piece of peace that once greeted her with open arms at her own doorstep. Watching her from the car I found myself wishing vile things on this person that disrupted the space she inhabits…the space she brightens so effortlessly under almost any circumstance.

And he has no idea. Probably never stopped to think that what he actually stole is more priceless and impossible to replace than the possessions he snatched.

Peace and faith and home appear sturdy and lasting but in truth are such fragile notions that we hold onto. Shaken at their foundation and it is hard to imagine getting a sense of them back, but for the sake of my friend I hope against all my lost faith, that it is indeed possible.

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