The Thief – A Parable

Once upon a time there was a thief.

She spent most of her time alone and mostly stole small, pitiful things from those closest to her. She stole things that wouldn’t be used, she stole things that would go to waste, and she stole things she needed or would need soon. The thief stole things to give to charity or stole to have things to give to others and some times she stole things just for the thrill. However, she always stole things that did not belong to her.

Now the thief started stealing when she became an adult. When an opportunity arose and justice could be served, the thief came out in full form. Then, and only then, did she allow herself to steal from her neighbor. She even felt empowered when she stole from the neighbor. She felt equal to him with strength and the excuse that she needed stolen goods to survive. In reality, she was avoiding her fears and refusing to fight for power in a healthy way.

She kept her head down until a moment came when it was safe to take some money here and some gourmet food there. Things went missing and the thief learned to assume that no one knew a thing. How freeing it was to think about evening the score. No one could know, and thus, no one would bat an eye lid on behalf of the neighbor. She had changed roles with the neighbor. She was patient and strong when the neighbor wronged her. There was power in living without a mirror. The thief barely realized that she had transformed into a scavenger – the lowest form of thief.

When a chance encounter with the Truth came, the thief balked at what she heard. She brushed it off, not ready to think about changing her ways. Alas, refusing to acknowledge something’s existence doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Ignoring Truth always brings penalties. The thief experienced such when, finishing a drink from a large mug, she caught a glimpse of her reflection. The mangy face of a curmudgeon looked back from the bottom of the reflective cup with empty and distracted eyes. A journey of learning was about to start but not before the thief stopped living the life she knew. She made a choice and that choice was not to be the same person she knew too well. She faced her own nature in dual forms: Who she was meant to be and the sin nature of who she was.

Armed with Truth and turning from her past, and what could be her present if she wasn’t careful, the thief looked into her heart and confessed who she was. Excuses were put aside and lies were untold.

Even though the thief had a change of heart, she was still a thief. She knew this and guarded her heart the best she could, leaning constantly on the Truth.  It was difficult, fearing how other people would react to her true thoughts and feelings, but the thief pressed on living as honesty grew into bravery.

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From Bad Dirt during Winter's Bone and Saved by the Holy Spirit's Redeeming Grace

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