|“St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle”|
Invasions, relocations, and resignations, oh my! I go away from this blog for maybe a month . . . okay, more like six weeks or so, and what happens? I become the victim of a violent crime, I decide to move, and the pope resigns. Wow! I’m reasonably sure the first two events had nothing to do with the third.
OK, so maybe that was a trifle flippant for an opening, but a lot has been going on around here, and not all of it good. I didn’t know how to begin.
On the evening of January 12, I became a victim of a violent crime—a home invasion to be precise. A little before 8 pm, I heard a loud and insistent knocking at the door. Despite my protestations that I was coming to answer it, the knocking continued. I opened the door without thinking, and there before me stood a young African-American man I had never seen before. He was dressed all in black and wearing a Balaclava style cap that has a hole for the face and a mask that can be pulled up to shield the face against the cold. He made a pretense of asking if this was “Billy’s” apartment, and when I told him repeatedly that it wasn’t, and when I told him I lived here, he pulled a gun and forced his way in. He asked me repeatedly for cash, drugs, and jewelry, and I told him repeatedly that I didn’t have any of those things in the house. I told him that he was welcome to whatever else he wanted—computer, stereo, TV, wallet, etc.
This was the most terrifying experience of my life. The guy threatened to kill me several times, and for a few days afterward I had a small bump on my forehead where he tapped me with his gun to prove he was serious. For a day or two after the incident, every time the phone rang or my e-mail jingled I nearly jumped out of my skin. My front door is double locked, and I will not open it unless I know who’s on the other side.
Despite this ordeal, I believe God was very good to me during the robbery and its aftermath. People have complimented me on my courage and presence of mind, but I attribute my survival solely to the Grace of God and the intercession of our Blessed Mother. Although I’m still trying to process what happened and still thinking about the incident more than I would like, I have thus far been spared flashbacks, nightmares, or any other signs of post-traumatic stress. I have made a point of praying for my attacker. Although there have been moments I’ve fantasized about revenge or what I might have done if I’d been an action movie hero armed with a gun myself, I don’t really hate this person. I pity him. How could one human being become so morally and spiritually warped that he would think assaulting a middle-aged white dude in a wheelchair and stealing a measly few hundred bucks and a cell phone was a good idea?
I want this man brought to justice under the law, but I also pray he will have the opportunity to realize what he has done, repent of it, and turn his life around. Otherwise, there is a good chance he will wind up dying a violent death, either at the hands of the police or some other bigger, meaner thug with a bigger and meaner gun than he has, and with even less regard for human life. If that happens, he will face a justice more severe than anything a human court can dish out.