In February, I wrote about a theft in our home and how I felt when I learned our daughter's friends were the culprits. You can read that post here: http://erikaunstuck.blogspot.com/2013/02/betrayal.html
I clearly heard the voice of God tell me to extend mercy to these boys and it was very difficult.
Mercy. These guys were already boasting to their friends on social media. They were talking about it to Dania. To them, it was a joke. But God was clear to me...mercy.
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Luke 6:36
We didn't want them marked as felons forever, but we did want them to experience some sort of consequence. We contacted the detective working the case and asked him if we could give the boys community service.
He said it was an option, and met with us for the final decision so he could close out the case. We told him exactly how we felt, that we wanted to extend mercy, but would require the boys do 200 hours of community service...well three of them got 200 hours and the one boy who didn't respond to the police got double.
He said, "Is that your final decision?"
After we assured him that it was, he said. "I'm glad you went this route. You chose a lesson these boys will remember forever and probably have saved them from a life of crime. If it had gone to court, it would have been reduced to a misdemeanor and they would have gotten less than 30 hours. I've seen it over and over again and because it's so easy to get off, the kids continue in criminal activity."
He went on to say that he worked with local boys who got in trouble and in order to help them get on a right path, he'd created a type of "scared straight" program. Our thieves were going to be entered into that program and would do all of their work in and around the police station. The police would keep an eye on them, get to know them and mentor them until they've done their service. Of the 15 boys who've gone through this program, eleven have become productive citizens.
I'm stunned by God's goodness and how in spite of the loss, we all gained something.
My next Follow Up Friday topic will be easy: Kim came back and is staying for the weekend. Please pray she sees and feels Jesus in our home!