At this table

Luke 22:21 New Living Translation (NLT)

21 “But here at this table, sitting among us as a friend, is the man who will betray me.

Yesterday, after our son and his friends (two brothers) played a few games of tag football & Minecraft on the WiiU he asked if they could stay for lunch. We said “sure, but you’re going to have to bake some more rolls for sandwiches.” With a little help from his dad, lunch was served and my man returned to the living room to join the rest of our family. The three boys talked and ate at the kitchen table until they left to go play in the neighborhood creek. A few minutes later, they came back to retrieve their bikes for a ride.

Meanwhile, it was time for a –day- after- Christmas- I’ve –eaten- too- much- and- laid- around- in- my- pj’s- for- 24- hours – walk through the neighborhood. Off with the jammies and into my yoga pants! I go to grab my iPhone from the entry table (near the side door that our son and his friends always enter/exit the house), but it wasn’t there.

“Honey, can you please call my phone…”

Silence.

The family joined in the search through the entire household

No phone.

Radio our son on the walkie talkie “have you seen my phone?” “No, mom.”

Login to iCloud on my MacBook. Find my iPhone. Offline. Locate. Maps begins searching… Resume search through the house. Walkie our son again. “Can you ask the boys if they’ve seen my phone?” “They’re gone. They said they had to go to their dads” Sucker punch in the soul. “Come home… now.”

(in my head) No. NO. NO! One of those boys wouldn’t betray me. Our son has been their friend. We’ve welcomed them into our home. We’ve conversed with them. We’ve feed them. We’ve driven them home at night after playing all afternoon. No. NO. NO!

Our daughter yells “Mom, your phone has been located.” Not our home address. Last known location: near the boy’s home. My man and our son drive over. The bikes are in the front yard, but no one answers the door. They follow the iMap last known address to an abandoned house nearby and search the area. No phone. A friend of ours that works with the Sheriff’s office joins in the search. Still no phone.

Send “lost” signal & place device in lost/stolen mode. Delete content. Suspend usage through Verizon. Report theft to credit card companies (Apple Pay).

Realization: I have been a victim of a crime…in our home….while at home….betrayed by a “friend!”

Revelation: I am not a victim- I am a child of God (identity). I am more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus. God will use this for His glory and my good.

Call the police.

File a report.

Officer returns from questioning the boy’s mother (she said they had been at their father’s home all day).

Gather our family into the living room to pray.

Forgive.

Ask the Holy Spirit to bring conviction & confession.

Rebuke the enemy.

Declare God’s goodness!

My man and I finally made it out for that walk, but within minutes of our departure an unknown car follows us, parks, and an angry, embarrassed mother calls to us. She prompts her son to speak. He confesses. After several minutes of conversation about Jesus, character, friendship and betrayal we tell him he is forgiven and we won’t press charges. I ask to hug the mother and whisper blessing and encouragement into her ear as she cries. My man shakes the young man’s hand and says “this is finished. You owe us nothing. Don’t do it again.”

John 13:21-27 New Living Translation (NLT)

21 Now Jesus was deeply troubled, and he exclaimed, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me!”

22 The disciples looked at each other, wondering whom he could mean. 23 The disciple Jesus loved was sitting next to Jesus at the table. 24 Simon Peter motioned to him to ask, “Who’s he talking about?” 25 So that disciple leaned over to Jesus and asked, “Lord, who is it?”

26 Jesus responded, “It is the one to whom I give the bread I dip in the bowl.” And when he had dipped it, he gave it to Judas, son of Simon Iscariot. 27 When Judas had eaten the bread, Satan entered into him. Then Jesus told him, “Hurry and do what you’re going to do.”

The phone was returned and has been completely restored through Apple and Verizon. But there’s a place in my heart for that young man- that child- that isn’t restored. Forgiven, but no longer trusted. While sitting at this table, Image 12-27-17 at 2.12 PMeating bread with our son, Satan entered… and when he was departing, he was tempted: His eyes saw my iPhone. His flesh wanted it. His pride convinced him that he deserved it. And he made a choice to steal it. He made a choice to betray me. He made a choice to betray the family that has loved him as a neighbor, as Jesus commands.

But we will choose to continue to love this broken young man. We will choose to continue to pray for him, his mother and his siblings. And if the Lord prompts us, we will choose to pursue a relationship with him with the understanding that our love is free, but our trust must be earned.

4 thoughts on “At this table

  • Jodie, you and your husband have such wisdom, grace, and compassion! What a wonderful story (and teaching) this is. In reality, we have all been, or will be betrayed at one time or another. Only the Lord’s way brings us peace and freedom to forgive. But you have also made it clear that trust must be earned. “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” Ps. 85:10 KJV Thank you!

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