“Be angry, and yet do not sin; Do not let the sun go down on your anger.” Ephesians 4:26

I’ve been dealing with anger over the last few days. Justified, mind you. There’s a person who has messed with us off and on for a few years – a vandal who creeps onto our property and does some damage when we’re not home, or lately, in the morning before the blinds at the back of our house are opened for the day. We’ve had wind chimes torn down (twice), a porch blind damaged, a bird feeder cut down (required wire snips for that!), our front lawn driven through after a heavy rain. Small branches have been torn from new trees and tossed into the grass. More insidious pranks have been pulled, as well. Our garage keypad has been repeatedly opened (and presumedly tried), and, much worse, late one night our girls’ bedroom window was rapped on sharply. On another night, our oldest daughter was unable to sleep, and as she headed to the basement to read, someone knocked loudly on the front door, likely in an attempt to scare her. It worked. My husband and I both flew out of the bedroom, but no one could be seen, and no engine started. They are close by.

Very few people in this town have fences, but ours is now in the works, budget be scrapped. Last year my vegetable garden became a target. When I went out of town for a spiritual six-day event, my husband called to tell me that my zucchini plants had been stomped flat. Frustrating doesn’t even begin to describe the feelings. Violated, definitely. The rest of the summer we harvested maybe half of what was on the tomato and pepper plants. All the other veggies were stolen.

There are times when those imprecatory Psalms make sense. King David’s words such as “Pour out your wrath on them; let your fierce anger overtake them” (Psalm 69:24) sound more rational, more applicable than in days of calm judgment. And those are mere warm-up vittles for David, as once he got going, went on to ask for blindness, “bent backs” and “blotting out of the book of life” for his enemies (same Psalm). And I, although I’ve never been chased from my kingdom through the wilderness, recognize those feelings.

My enemy is cowardly and cunning. This is someone who’s gotten bold enough. Three out of the last four days, my tomato cages have been ripped up, with cherry tomatoes thrown in the yard and even the green tomatoes stripped away. Tonight my husband wired them all together, while I watched through a video camera lens that is hopefully hidden enough to catch them in the act next time. I certainly hope so.

I’ve prayed and fretted about this at times; We’re working out the security camera route and have tried the motion detector lights. Some things only seem to present a new challenge to overcome to this person, who is simply determined to persecute us, for some unknown  reason.

My garden is out there right now in the dark, and someone may be lurking around, testing the strength of the new tomato cage wiring. But I have a new focus as I prepare for bed: “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46:10).

We look for justice; we do what we can. At the end of the day, as the sun goes down, God is still God.

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