After I Realized I Had Been Robbed

Were I quicker on my feet I would have said the following to the college student at the coffee shop who, I believe, stole my pen:

“Eh-hem… I realize that I’m fallible, so forgive me if my postulation is wrong. But, I came here with a pen which I used and set down there. I asked you to watch my stuff while I went to the bathroom. Now the pen is gone. I’ve thoroughly checked my backpack and the surrounding area to no avail. I don’t have the pen on my person and you said that you didn’t see anything happen to it.

“If the pen is not lying around here, if I don’t have it, and if nobody else took it then I’d like to postulate that you closed your eyes, grabbed my pen and are currently in possession of it. I’d like to let you know that stealing is both rude and wrong, as is lying.

“None the less, I’d like you to keep my pen as a gift from me. I hope it lasts long and writes smoothly for you. If you ever attend a Billy Graham Crusade, I hope you use it to sign your ‘decision card for Jesus.’ Have a nice day. Goodbye.”

However, insofar as I’m not quicker on my feet, I simply furrowed my brow and went home; one pen poorer than before.

Open the Cupboard

“We do not welcome strangers into our lives or homes, and we do not go out to meet them. We do not inform ourselves of events abroad and cannot locate them on maps or in context… We have never dealt seriously with a homeless person. We do not grieve over news stories of poverty or starvation, and we make token efforts to relieve such suffering by our charity. Claiming allegiance to the Christ who speaks in active imperatives (Go! Tell! Witness! Declare! Proclaim!), we Christians nonetheless prefer to keep the bread of life in our own cupboard and to speak of it only to those who already have it. Do we subconsciously suppose that in such inbred silence we can keep our dignity, and unbelievers can go to hell where they belong?”

– Cornelius Plantinga, Jr., Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995), 189.