Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Thief on the Cross

In April 2004 while making a move from Denver to Glenwood Springs, just 160 miles apart, I was saying my goodbyes to people I had known throughout the many years I lived in Denver, particularly in the building I lived in for fifteen years. My neighbor Karen Wilson with whom I didn't always get along, who was rough around the edges, left me a very touching note by my door, wishing me well in my move.

Well, I was prompted to respond with a gift. I gave her a hat I bought on my first visit to Glenwood Springs back in 1980. It was a woolen knit hat made in Italy. I was very fond of it although I rarely wore it. It was off-white with stripes of fuchsia in various tones. I hesitated giving it up. But I knew that I knew that I was supposed to give it to Karen who was very sickly at the time, although she was not that much older than me. I didn't know what she was suffering from. But with difficulty, I released the hat.

Then, a few months later I was impressed to send her a card which I finally did. But just previous to that, I kept hearing "thief on the cross," not knowing who that was referring to. I thought it might be my father who had ostracized me. I was clueless at the time.

Some time had passed since I mailed the note to Karen. I had pretty much forgotten about it. Then one day in July that year, it appeared in my mailbox unopened. It had some handwriting on it as to why it was returned. It said, "Deceased." I was in shock and overcome with grief.

I ended up still going into work that evening as scheduled. I paced the floor where I was working in sorrow. Then, I heard what I believed to have been the Holy Spirit asking me, "what are you so grieved about?"

I was a bit taken aback by that. I responded, "I'm saddened about Karen."

Suddenly, I remembered the words, "thief on the cross." I then understood who that message was referring to. My countenance changed that instant from downcast to peace and joy. God is faithful!

Then, years later when I finally moved to the Bay Area, I found a cream-colored hat of the same style and fiber as the one I gave to Karen. Only this time, it's more of a tan tweed and mostly solid color. I still miss the other one, but was pleased to find this one at a bargain.
Thank You, Lord, for your faithfulness!

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