Today, I cried for a camera. Our camera was stolen out of our home, together with an (first gen) ipod and an external hard drive. Despite it being absurd to cry for a thing- especially such a small thing- I suppose I was sad for the violation and the loss of something that helped us to reflect, remember, and understand ourselves as a family. We were a one [great] camera family- no smart phones, no ipads, no secret tiny cameras. The sadness lasted only briefly before Noah and Eli needed me, but it (is) was real.
We know with pretty high certainty who stole it- his name is also Eugene- and Eug and I are trying to figure out how to navigate through: At one level, this is just one person stealing a camera from one family, but at another it's about our society collectively. It always is. It's about someone who needed money enough to risk his job and more (he was painting the outside of our house at the time). It's about the reality that, although we're really sad for the loss, we're still better off and still have less worry in our lives than the person who stole from us. We may not have a camera or a nice lens for a while, but eventually we'll be able to get another camera and hopefully continue to document our privileged, happy lives.
So my prayer in the loss, which I share as much to hold myself to it as for any other reason: That it will just be the loss of a camera, and nothing more symbolic or dearly held. That the stage in our family's lives will be remembered and cherished. That we would get the camera back somehow by some amazing turn of events, such as an admission of guilt. That Eugene will be blessed and this won't be the defining story of his life, any more than it is ours (or if it is, that it is in a good way). That we work against the things in our society that make people steal: poverty, unemployment, urbanization, addiction.