There is fingerprint dust on my car boot but no 8 month old laptop inside it. That, along with a years worth of Greek & Hebrew work, textbooks, reading books and a Christmas present, were taken overnight. It isn’t exactly the relaxing camping trip I had envisaged.
Never having had anything stolen before, I’ve been surprised at how I feel. Sad and a bit vulnerable. I miss it more than I care to admit. The laptop, apart from its material value, is full of stuff I can’t replace. Don’t talk to me about backing it up – i know. Massive fail. Every kids talk I’ve ever written, photo taken, song purchased, notes to myself so I would remember this crazy year, all gone. Some might be recoverable. Most are lost.
I feel like I don’t know how to fill in the gaps. I can’t imagine where to start. I baulk at the idea of anyone trawling through it, but the idea they might coldly erase without doing so is possibly worse. I want them to know who I am before they callously divest themselves of any trace of me. All of those assignments. Wedding speeches. Scripture lessons. MTS paraphernalia. Letters and love.
Despite my sadness, I can absolutely understand the motivation behind it. Someone will love my Macbaby, I hope. It will be of use.
So what of all my Greek paradigms, painstakingly written out in crinkly characters? What of every Hebrew practice test I’ve done? My principal parts page, so well worn it’s no longer attached. You can trace the course of my year in those notes. Everything that ever helped me to learn those languages, gone. They will lie unwanted somewhere, in a bin, or burned to ash. But they are not unwanted. How I wish them back to me.
And yet. Really.
Even as I write I am flooded with the silliness of my lament and the knowledge of my blessings. This blip in my day is but a drop into a millpond. In terms of bad things, this is little more than an annoyance. I cannot stop thinking about how thankful I am to have such blessing to miss.
One of the first things my kind father said to me as I cried down the phone line was that God knows why this happened and there is something in it, though I can’t see what. He didn’t say it in a hippy dippy Romeo and Juliet way, as Leo screams his beautiful heartbreak at the stars. He said it quietly and lovingly. It will be alright Laurie. You need to trust him. So I try.
I sit on my sisters couch, my camping trip interrupted, my plans for the next few weeks uncertain in the face of admin and rebuilding, and I sing. It is inside of me, for the sake of my brother in law, but it is joyful. A joy that does not come from me, as all I am capable of is bitterness and self pity. But God reminds me now as he has all day of his love for me, abundant.
I say I will leave house and home – will I baulk at the first possession wrested from my grasp? I say I will trust him for my soul and my salvation, my past and my future – will I curse him for my today?
As I drove away, thankful for friends who made me tea and called police, who swam in the cold surf alongside me without needing to speak; the song going round in my head without release was about praising God. It was a reminder and a call. It is the cry of my heart today and I hope every one to follow.
I long to love nothing in this life so much that when it is taken away, my heart fails to sing. I look forward to imperishable and unfading, kept for me by the one who knows the thoughts I could never express with a thousand sleek silver-cased keyboards and a thousand hours to express them.
I am thankful for the chance to slow down and remember, one week out, what a happy Christmas means. It is not the glowing of an apple and a startup screen, or the embossed feel of a hundred pages of careful notes, validating hard work. Someone else may unwrap my Macbaby next Wednesday, by the light of a pine tree. I hope still to sing of a different baby, light of the world, come for sinners. For me.