As I sat working on my laptop, an email blipped onto the screen with the headline, “I have a package that was stolen from your porch.” It turns out the box was empty, and the neighbor, one block north, had footage on his surveillance video of the thief ripping the box open at 1:23 a.m.
I later discovered the package had been delivered by the post office at 7:37 p.m. about 30 minutes after we’d locked up the front and headed into the back of the house to read. No one had rung the doorbell to alert us of its presence so it sat out all night, ripe for the work of porch pirates.
The package was from a dear childhood friend that I have known since age 5. It contained 9 handmade Christmas ornaments. She lovingly sends these each year.
I filed a police report and requested that the post office ring my bell when deliveries are made in the future.
The neighbor who captured the video footage said he thinks people from a homeless camp wander our area at night.
The only way I could come to terms with this was to imagine that the person who has the ornaments was going to either hang them in his tent or give them to children that might otherwise not receive any gifts.
This got me thinking about the perspective it takes to steal a package from someone’s porch. It is not something I could ever do. I would know that I was hurting someone and causing them loss and pain. But those who do this, do not think that way. We are those who “have” and they are those who don’t. This separates us.
What can we do to create more of a community, to take care of those in need to prevent this desperation? Something to think about as we approach this Christmas.