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Hooligans, rapscallions, and miscreants

December 4, 2011

We don’t subscribe to the newspaper here at the Sparky household.  We don’t have time to read it, and it just seems wasteful to get papers we don’t read.  But on Sundays we often stop by one of those little newspaper vending boxes and grab the Sunday paper because I want the coupon inserts and ads.  I almost always recoup the cost of the paper and then some by using the coupons when I shop for groceries.

Funny thing, though.  For several weeks we’ve been unable to find a stocked box.  Even early in the morning the boxes are totally empty of newspapers.  And today we found out why because a notice was posted on each box.  Turns out so many newspapers are being stolen from the boxes that the publisher is no longer willing to stock them at all.

I have to admit, I was mighty irritated when I heard this.  I mean, who steals newspapers?  And then I realized that most likely the papers are being stolen for the very coupons and ads that I’m wanting.  Not that it matters why.  It’s wrong to take something you didn’t pay for and wasn’t given to you.  And now, thanks to folks who took what wasn’t theirs, we all get “punished”.

I had a very self-righteous mini-rant stomping around in big boots in my head.  After all, I don’t steal papers.  I put in my coins and then I take my ONE paper.  That is what everyone is supposed to do.  What sort of person wipes out the vending box?  It’s rude, it’s wrong, it’s low-class…and now where in tarnation am I going to get a Sunday paper?  I don’t want to subscribe to the weekend paper because I don’t want Saturday.  I only want Sunday.

And then I was interrupted by that quiet voice that has a way of stopping me in my tracks.

I came for the paper thieves too.

That hushed me.  The voice wasn’t scolding; it spoke very matter-of-factly, telling me something it wanted me to know.  And then I could hear the smile in what I heard next:

I like the paper thieves.

There wasn’t much I could say to that.  Of course He likes the paper thieves.  He always likes the ornery ones a little harder, it seems.  And I know He doesn’t like the stealing, but the stealing doesn’t stop Him from liking, or loving, or being willing to befriend a paper thief.

Or a cranky, pouty, paperless Sparky.

Sometimes I need to be reminded of just how much He likes people.  Not just the ones who dress modestly or give to charity or don’t litter or sit in pews on Sunday.  He really likes all kinds of people.   Sin doesn’t intimidate Him.  Why should it?  He defeated it, after all!   He doesn’t insist on only hanging out with the people who’ve cleaned up their acts, but prefers the folks who are hopelessly messy and need Him to clean up their act for them because they realize that no amount of Try that will ever make their flesh anything but dead and rotten.

That would included the paper thieves.  And also the people who complain about paper thieves.

Thank goodness.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. bethkvogt permalink
    December 5, 2011 7:25 am

    And there you have it.
    And we so often forget it.

  2. December 5, 2011 9:22 am

    I just LOVE how quietly speaks those kinds of words to us. He is the best person I know!………..or as one of my kids said when they were little: “He’s my favorite spirit”.. haha

  3. Joann permalink
    December 5, 2011 9:53 am

    Amen and Amen! Praise God He indeed likes us all!

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