Friday, July 22, 2016

There's Still Good in the Midst of Evil

As I drove through town on my way to church one Sunday morning recently, I glanced toward the town hall. The Little Free Library (the only library we have in Blue Springs) was leaning to one side. I didn't have time to stop, but later in the afternoon I went back to check. Mamie's Book Box was so loose it could just about spin on its stand.

I thought, at first, that I could lift it up and reseat it on the screws that secured it to the post. Looking back, I don't know why that made sense, but I gave it a try. 

I lifted it up and quickly found that the only place that wooden box was going was to ground. It was much heavier than I remembered. I managed to lower it with the tiniest of crashes. It scattered the books, but nothing broke.

Well, nothing broke that wasn't already broken.

As it turned out, the Little Free Library had been vandalized. Someone had wrenched it off the bolts that held it. 

Vandalized. The little library I'd done in memory of my mama. With the brightly colored flowers and decorations I'd made by hand. The library Ronnie Rogers had spent hours sealing and painting. The library our citizens had stocked with donated books. 

I was heartbroken. How could someone do something so mean to such a sweet little memorial?

I hate to admit it, because I love Blue Springs more than you can imagine, but there was a little bit of a hard place in my heart about the damage to the library. I wanted to have it repaired, but I didn't have the heart to risk it being vandalized again. Instead, I dragged it into the town hall and left it. Right in the middle of the floor. 

I was at the town hall one day a week or two later and Mike Matkins came over. He'd seen the damaged book box and noticed that it was still not back in place. "I could fix that box for you, if you want. It won't be a problem. I'll put it back on the stand. It'll be easy to fix."

He was so sweet, I nearly cried.

Over this past weekend, he and his brother, Conway Allen, repaired the book box and put it back on its stand. 

My hard place was still having a field day. I drove past there repeatedly and wondered if the vandals would be back. I wouldn't put the books back inside, because I was afraid they'd be damaged, too. 

I hate to admit it, but my desire to protect the book box was more about my anger at the vandals than about the box. 

Yesterday afternoon, I dropped Sam off to get his hair cut and went to check the flag. I could see the little library box from the flagpole and, right there in front of the flag and the roses, I had church. 

I forgave the vandals and gave the box back to God, who gave me the idea for it in the first place. I repented of my anger and thanked God for the ones who'd been so generous in repairing the library. 

Once the box was back in His hands, instead of mine, I gathered the books and arranged them in the box. There's everything from legal thrillers to romance to biographies to devotional books and classics in that library now.

As I closed the door and secured the latch, I was reminded that, in the midst of all the strife and evil of this world, there is still plenty of good. God is still on His throne. He still works through His people. 

And He alway will. 

"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." Ephesians 4:32 esv
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: The Wine-Tasting Wall-Building City-Saver 
 #kindness #littlefreelibrary #forgive