May 30, 2017

my doors are unlocked

My beat up pick-up truck winks at night ... one of the headlights is broken. The engine sputters and shuts off randomly while I'm driving. The defrost heater works (hallelujah), but the AC is long gone. However, I call it Charity because it's been going for 278,000 miles and it still hasn't failed. Even though Charity is a weird little car, I love her. She's been good to me.

One morning a couple of months ago, I woke up to find that someone had broken into Charity. Nothing was broken, but the scent of cigarette smoke and my more-than-normally disheveled glove box clued me into the fact that an unknown person was rifling through my car.

Creepy, right? I was definitely creeped out by this situation. Someone that I didn't know had been in my car! The incident was a complete surprise to me.

But, at the same time, it wasn't unexpected ... after all, I leave my doors unlocked.

For you city-folk that are crying out in protest, I promise that there is a little explanation to my madness. When I lived nestled into the rolling hills of Missouri, my dad attached the keys to the stick ... because I had (ahem ... have) the uncanny ability to lose everything. I trusted my neighbors, I trusted my friends at school, I trusted the random people of Walmart. So I left the keys in the car and I left it unlocked, often with the windows rolled down.

That habit stuck with me when I migrated to Rexburg. I still trusted my neighbors, my friends at school, and the random people of Walmart. I started carrying a purse (so the keys being attached to the stick was no longer necessary), but I left the doors unlocked. I practically invited people to steal my car as a favor to me ... but nothing happened.

I guess that's why the random betrayal of trust in the dead of night was so unexpected. As I installed a new air freshener and wiped down Charity's cracked windshield, I realized that I had a choice to make. I could either be extra vigilant in locking my car every time I left it ... or I could decide to find renewed trust and keep living my life as if nothing had ever happened.

I'm learning that my heart is a little bit like my truck. It's a little bit battered. It's a little bit weird. But I love it. It's been good to me and has kept me moving for the past 22 years. I engage my heart in everything that I do, a quality that has brought me a lot of satisfaction. I try to keep my heart unlocked and to love the people that I come into contact with as much as possible.

Most of the time, leaving my heart open has brought me more happiness than I could have ever imagined. Loving people has become my hobby. There are times, however, that I wake up to find my heart in a similar condition to my disheveled glove box. The experience stinks worse than the smell of cigarette smoke. The choice that I face after those moments is similar to the choice I faced after the break-in ... I can choose to lock my heart and withhold love ... or to find renewed trust and keep living life unlocked.

You can guess which option I chose in both scenarios.

My truck (and my heart) is still unlocked.

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