Monday, July 18, 2011

Aqua (& thievery)

A canoe was stolen from Bill's Boathouse over the weekend. Two boys just walked down and without even hesitating - took the boat from the dock and paddled away... They were caught on camera but my dad (he and my mom own the boathouse) struggled with what action steps to take ~ does reporting to the police solve the underlying problem these boys have? A few nights in juvenile detention is going to "reform" these boys?
A few words from my dad in an article he submitted to a local newspaper:

We like to see boys fishing.  We like to encourage boys who like to fish.  We had some worms left behind by a fellow in case kids without cash needed bait.  We gave these to the boys.  The weather wasn’t the best so they asked for coffee.  No charge.  The City of Lakewood actually has fishing poles here at the boathouse for use by kids. 
And they took a boat.  Didn’t ask.  We didn’t see it.  But the camera did.
An ancient proverb declares, “A foolish son is the calamity of his father.”  Maybe ‘calamity’ is too strong a word?  “A state of deep distress or misery caused by major misfortune or loss.”
Is missing a boat a major misfortune?  Are these sons a calamity to their dads?  Are there dads?  And if there are dads, why weren’t they here taking their boys fishing?
I know who these boys are.  But I wonder if their fathers do. read the rest of the article here...

So, knowing the God that we have... the one who is a "father to the fatherless... a defender of widows... he sets the lonely in families..." (Psalm 68:5-6) Our God cares - he desires to see these boys succeed... His heart is for family and to see fathers raise up their children in the "training and instruction of the Lord" (Eph. 6:4)
Knowing and believing this... what would you do? What action steps would you take? Are these boys "too far gone" - how would you proceed? 


  1. Hmmmm...I certainly wouldn't let it go. I probably would have them reported only because I've grown up with a brother who took things as he wanted them without asking. I wish someone had stopped him much sooner.

  2. Wow. This is tough. Maybe some positive, creative consequences would be in order. Like helping around the boathouse? Then they'd see a different kind of behavior modeled and they'd be part of the process, maybe even form some healthy relationships.

  3. Really good, hard questions. I like what your dad had to say. But I don't know what the answer is. I think forgiveness and punishment can happen simultaneously. I have a real problem with what I call the "entitled generation." Kids today who think they deserve everything and are entitled to whatever they desire. Of course I am generalizing. But I do think there is a place for just punishment -- as well as for the opportunity for repentance.

  4. A dilemna indeed.

    On the flip side I LOVE these shots. ;)

  5. Beautiful photos, and definitely an interesting question. Like dad says, these kids need fathers. Adult authority figures who love and can teach them. So, that's what I'd do. I'd tell them I know what they did and that it was wrong, and I'd give them the opportunity to pay me back. And I'd tell them they could take the boat any time they wanted, free of charge ... after they'd earned that privilege beforehand by working for it. But I'd also tell them that the next time they take it, they have to take me along with them.


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