BROKEN windows are annoying anytime, but when someone deliberately smashes a window annoyance melds into anger.
But the anger doesn’t fix anything, certainly not the window.
Damage occurred recently to our church, and as with all facilities that are vulnerable to such events, we may wonder where or if it will ever end. But isn’t that the wrong mindset? Wouldn’t it be better to surrender our predilection for asset protection for a grander eternal goal? Couldn’t we replace the focus on what’s broken with a focus on the broken who created the mess? To be open to helping them reconcile the mess within themselves and to augment a desire that they would want to restore themselves?
Relational upsets are key opportunities to minister within Kingdom windows. The perpetrators may and in fact often do have their own backstory of dysfunction where nobody cared, especially those who should have.
Maybe God brings them to damage the church in order that they might experience mercy; if indeed they’re up for it. I know they need less of the hard arm of the law, and more of the grace that listens curiously into their hang-ups and hurts. Certainly, they still need to face the consequences of their actions. But let that occur secondarily within the frame of a love that seeks to reconcile and restore. A love that enables them to take responsibility for their lives.
The broken need a merciful encounter with God’s risen one. They need to find within us who bear Christ’s light, willingness to help them change the narrative. They ought to be presented with the opportunity that breathes hope into a flagging life. We should not say their ‘no’ for them.
Those who break windows for fun are not the enemy. The damage they do is scarily symbolic for the damage that is within them — a damage we believe only Jesus can fix. We know, because that damage was within us, too! Some are ready to turn from the page of despair to read about hope for a better life. And all must be given the opportunity.