Honor among thieves

For the third time in as many years, I was pick-pocketed this week.

  • The first time it was a band of guys who pushed their way onto the subway, causing a big ruckus and push so they could reach in my pocket and take my phone.
  • The second time someone reached into my man-purse as I was riding down the subway escalator.
  • This time I was in Coffee House with Pastor Igor, and someone managed to take my whole purse right off of the couch I was sitting on.
I was depressed, but both Diana and I weathered it much better than the last time. The bad news was that I had just taken a couple hundred dollars out of the ATM. The good news was that what was not in the purse were my phone, iPod, or passport. I had also just taken a bill out that had our address on it, which would have come in handy with the keys.

A few hours later, after I had had a little time to fight back in prayer by thanking God for the positives, and to affirm that He is in control, that He is good, and that I will rejoice in all things, I got a call. A bathroom cleaning lady at an upscale hotel across the river from where I had been had found the purse and a piece of paper with our number on it. Preserved were:
  • the keys
  • all my discount cards
  • all three credit cards (though we had already blocked two)
  • my pen
The nice thieves had stuffed everything, except the money, my metro card, and chewing gum, back nicely in the main pocket and put it in a trash can where it would be found. It was as though they didn’t want to put me out too much.

You think I’m crazy? I was telling someone about what had happened the next day, and she said she knew of incidents where pick-pockets would call their victims by phone and tell them where to find their purse, like in a grocery store locker.

They say there is honor among thieves. The Bible says we have all been given a conscience to remind us of the universal laws that point us back to their Creator. C.S. Lewis even said that the universality of these principles and our universality of our agreement on them is evidence that they are built in to our hard drive by Someone.

But my chewing gum? . . .

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