Tim Challies has some humbling, thought-provoking, and potentially life-changing words today, if I am willing to act on them.
Tonight we all took a walk out behind the house where the county is doing some major digging and working as they put in an improved wetlands area. There are huge piles of dirt and a lot of big trucks, so it is a perfect place for kids to climb and get themselves muddy.
While we were there investigating the work that is being done, I kept my eye on four boys in their early teens. They were just looking around like we were, except that they were also trying to find some cans of disgarded marking spray paint that still had paint in them. I heard them talking about a can as they passed us on their bikes a short while later.
We started back to the house, passing a storage container, ATV, and “Honey Pot” that had been set up by the workers. The four boys I had been watching were poking around to see what they could find. We walked on by, and I saw them gather in a corner near the porta-potty, and decided to head back when I heard the paint can shaking.
By the time I made it around to them, the were jumping and yanking on the ATV, and I was ready. I shouted “hey, guys!” in a friendly manner, and as they all turned, I snapped a picture. “I just want to be sure the police have a good picture in case anything ends up missing or painted.”
“We didn’t paint anything,” one of them said. I looked to the side and saw fresh orange marking paint where they had just been. “I’m sure you didn’t, but you know, just in case. Hey,” I asked, “what’s with this fresh orange paint on the side of the outhouse?”
“Outhouse? What’s that?” one asked.
“Right here,” I said, pointing. They all came toward me to see what I was pointing at. I snapped another picture and bid them goodbye.
And the part that just cracks me up is thinking about all four of those boys, who “didn’t paint anything,” lying awake tonight wondering what that crazy man with the camera is going to do with those pictures. And how they can get out of any trouble they may end up in the middle of.
Our police officer neighbor suggested I bring a couple of prints to the site boss tomorrow. I do not know that they can do anything about it, since I did not actually catch them in the act, but it sure was obvious to me.