Responding after vandalism

Seems there are a variety of ways to respond when something you love and respect has been vandalized by someone who clearly does not share the same love and respect.  Like your sanctuary.

In the aftermath of a recent act of vandalism, I observed the following responses:  church members who said “It could have been a lot worse!” and “That is someone we need to pray for.” And church members who pitched in to upright and re-pot the peace lily and repaired a damaged 80+ year old door so it could close properly.  WIN staff  members gave time and energy to clean up trash from the bathrooms and library, wiping down the piano and emptying the baptismal font.  The crime lab specialist from Baltimore City Police was professional and thorough.   Two different people said, “It is the devil at work.”  Perhaps.  Or perhaps it was anger,  hurt, or pain unfurled in a way to inflict pain on someone else.

Instead of the devil, I saw the Holy Spirit at work in the aftermath.  Like the neighbors who worked to clean up after the rioting in April.  Like Ruth who insisted on supporting her mother-in-law in a time of crisis.  Like Jesus who turned a long unproductive night of fishing into a celebration of abundance.

Nothing was stolen.  All broken items are replace-able. No one was hurt.  And after all, it is just a building.  A building in service to God.

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