He wasn’t returning our phone calls or responding to our text messages. We called his brother and his employees but it seemed that he vanished in plain sight. And with him, almost $15,000 worth of materials and my mom’s retirement money that she had paid him to remodel her kitchen and living room. My family trusted this contractor and his workers and he stole not just money and materials, but our trust and peace.
For months after the theft, I would turn to the Lord and genuinely try to pray for the contractor and his workers, but all I could think about was vengeance.
How could someone do that?
And not just to anyone, but to my mother who is the most generous, loving, and kind woman I know? How could someone come to our family home, sit on our couch, be served a cold drink on a hot day, and look me straight in the eyes and say, “You are my family!” and then turn around and steal what my mother worked hard to save? Even typing this heats my blood and unsettles me.
I am more like King David who said in the Psalms, “With vengeance I will repay my foes and requite those who hate me.” But that is not for me to do. I am not the Almighty Lord Who has the power to “deal death and give life.”
The anger that I feel towards the contractor is righteous and oh how my heart burns for justice. Yet now, even through gritted teeth and clenched fist, I am finally at a place where I genuinely pray for his conversion and for him to be in a life-changing relationship with Jesus. God knows how weak my heart is to love rightly and the only strength I have is to offer him to Jesus.
Yes, I want justice, and with the Lord’s help, I also desire mercy.