when i first started working in brooklyn, i felt unstoppable. although i had some initial fear of working in the 'hood, they quickly died and i became a little too comfortable. last week was a bad week for me. our car was broken into while working and my purse was stolen out of the glove compartment. most people may say, 'you silly girl, why did you leave your purse in your glove compartment?' yes, i know it sounds silly, but carrying around a purse into low-income, not-so-safe housing makes me a target for crime. thus, i leave my purse in my car. i don't need any extra attention.
i was so discouraged when my car was broken into. i was literally away from my car for about 30 minutes. i thought i was being smart: i parked on a busy street where there were several pedestrians, a grocery store and trucks unloading. as i started to walk back to my car, i saw the passenger's window was shattered into pieces. freaked out, i immediately started to cry. i'm sure i looked like a fool - the only white girl in the neighborhood, crying on the corner of a busy intersection. gratefully, a police officer was driving down the street and helped me file a report and find a glass shop to get my window fixed.
(please note: the difference between detroit and the 'hood of brooklyn is police presence. in new york, there are police EVERYWHERE. in detroit, there is no guarantee they will come to help you.)
i lost nothing - jeff quickly canceled my credit cards and i only had some spare change in my wallet. the thief just got a cute clutch and a cheap wallet. no biggie. yet, i gained a sense of fear. i am in this exact neighborhood on a daily basis. how will i come back? how will i park my car knowing that someone has already broken into it? initially, i thought, "GOD! why would you allow this to happen! i am doing your work in this crummy neighborhood! protect me!"
when i called jeff and my parents, i expected a "i told you so - working in the hood isn't that great, laura" response, but they were so gentle and loving.
anyways, our small group is currently studying 1 john. this particular week, we were studying 1 john 1 which talks a lot about living in "the light".
i was so humbled and blessed because after the car incident, one of the mothers i work with that lives in the area called me and said, "laura, don't give up on us. you are a light in our neighborhood. we need you." THAT was when i knew satan was attacking me when my car was broken into. THAT was when i knew that god is using me in new york. THAT was when all of the fear went away and i felt so much peace. THAT was when i realized that God didn't 'allow' my car to get broken into because "god is light, and in him there is no darkness at all" (1 john 1:5).
this incident was satan. but god still used it.
on another note, jeff and i are finally feeling settled into our home and our neighborhood. this morning we enjoyed our local farmer's market, flea market and park (all within 2 blocks of us!) we also got to eat lunch with seth and jax - some good friends from michigan.
we are now getting ready to head out to dinner with jeff's parents and brother. happy birthday to my best friend (and hubby) and my mother-in-law :)