This is the third installment, start at Pt. 1, then Pt. 2
None of this felt right for Stefan and I. We went back and forth trying to decide what we should do. Our emotions were high because we've had such a rough year, and it seemed like the police officer was very convinced this person was guilty. There was a matter-of-fact statement of an eye-witness. The person was seen by others near our home within the 24 hours the boat was taken. A scared response came out as, "I'll buy them a new one!" that the officer reported. All of this was influencing us.
This young person is out of high school. They are a legal adult and this would be a big red mark on their permanent record. We knew this kid. We didn't want to cause this family grief, we just wanted our boat back! From the beginning, we had always reiterated to the officer that we did not want drama, hassle, court dates, or anything else, we simply wanted our boat returned to us. The officer thought that was fair and went back to the person to communicate that.
We're only 10 years out of high school ourselves (okay, now it's 11), and we know that smart kids can make stupid decisions in the presence of their friends. What kind of high schooler tells you face-to-face that they accidentally bumped into our boat with their car when no one else was around? One that has a strong character. This person works hard and often. That boat of ours was bought for $150 off Craigslist, and certainly wouldn't fetch more than $75 if it was hot and had to be sold as soon as possible. It just didn't make sense. This life-learned wisdom from our high school days, along with remembering integrity this individual has shown us in the past made this a really confusing scenario for us.
I was cooking dinner, anxiously thinking about what we'd do, when I felt an idea come into my head. I don't take any credit for this idea. We're Christians, and we believe that God sometimes gives direction. Sometimes, not, but I felt overwhelmingly this idea came from Him.
I asked Stefan, "What do you think of this? Why don't we have [this person] over, explain what we believe in, namely, grace, and offer it to them?"
"Yes. Let's do that." It was settled.
This third way made perfect sense to me, thus releasing us from being the victims (we were letting go of the idea of pressing charges), letting this person be cleared without a record, healing our relationship with their family, and showing what grace looks like in an ordinary circumstance. Not only that, but I had a peaceful sense that if we went this unexplainable, non-traditional route, we'd somehow get our boat back. I sort of knew we'd either get money for a boat, be given a boat, or have our boat returned. I didn't question, I just told Stefan and said, "this is what's going to happen".
Stay tuned for installment 4...aren't you wondering if we got it back?