Thursday, January 31, 2013

A lesson in forgiveness

Wed, 30 Jan 2013 - 1:57 PM CST

Pastor Dennis Noble of Lake City Assembly sat in the airport on Tuesday afternoon, January 15, his temperature rising - he was not happy. Two straight times the computer at the Seattle-Tacoma Airport had inexplicably dropped his name from the passenger standby list. So now, while other standby passengers who had arrived long after he did were already in flight or even home, he was still waiting to board a plane.
Most days, Noble could have shrugged the incident off - perhaps this was one of those God opportunities? But today wasn't most days. Inside, he was wrestling with all kinds of powerful emotions - from pain and heartbreak to anger and maybe even revenge.
Over the weekend, late Saturday or early Sunday morning, their church, his church - God's house - had been violated and desecrated. And frankly, it hurt. Tens of thousands of dollars of damage had been done to the doors, windows, classrooms, the kitchen and sanctuary by some contemptible person or people, with hate-filled messages painted on classroom walls.
It was 6 a.m. Sunday morning when Noble received the call from the janitor at the church's location in Medical Lake, Washington, telling him to come right away - someone had broken in. Directing the janitor to call 9-1-1 and report the crime, Noble quickly got ready and headed to the church. TV crews almost beat the police to the scene as an email alerted them about the break in.
When Noble arrived at the church, the amount of damage was mind numbing. It was clearly evident the break-in was designed to inflict as much damage as possible on the church. Doors were kicked in, windows were smashed, computers were destroyed - but as the tour of the facilities continued, it was discovered very little had actually been taken.
"The insurance claim has not been finalized yet," Noble says, "but the damage is estimated to be somewhere between $50,000 and $100,000."


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