The other night our next door neighbors (who live in the apartments behind our house) got robbed WHILE they were home and asleep. Someone broke into their apartment in the middle of the night, and took their computer and a few other valuables. Their car was also broken into. They were fine, but obviously very shaken up. To be honest, the whole ordeal had me a little freaked out.
Then Steve reminded me that we don’t have much that’s worth stealing. Good point. Aside from a few basic electronics, we don’t have a whole lot that someone else would want to take. Picture albums? Homemade artwork? Our carved coconut collection? All purely sentimental. Then that got me thinking about the kind of lifestyle we’ve chosen for ourselves. For various reasons, we’ve made a conscious decision to live a relatively simple life. We don’t own a whole lot, don’t buy a whole lot, and therefore, aren’t that attached to our things. We’ve also chosen to live in the college neighborhood where we work. And in this part of the city, certain inner city type happenings are bound to be experienced. There will be break-ins and car thefts.
Maybe it’s strange, but I love my neighborhood. Yes, there are certain ways we need to have an extra measure of wisdom and street smarts where we live. But I love being a part of the heartbeat of Los Angeles, where we get all sorts of great opportunities to love and serve and interact with the diverse collection of people in our community – college students and faculty, working class families, homeless friends. Living in this area for the last nine years has shaped me into someone who cares a little bit more about the needs of people around me, and I’m not quite ready to give that up. The huge house in the gated community with a Hummer parked in the garage might be the American Dream, but it just isn’t mine.