In my last post I talked about letting go of my fear of having our house broken into. Today I’m going to be a bit more practical. Yes, we trust the Lord. Yes, we know that if someone wants in your house badly enough they will figure out a way to get in. Yes, we have a daily peace, knowing that the Lord is with us. However, that does not mean we no longer take precautions. There’s no sense inviting the Fox into the hen house, so to speak.
I actually feel safer inside my house here in San Jose, Costa Rica than I did when we were home on our last furlough and living in the suburbs of the Twin Cities. My sense of space has changed. Here in Costa Rica, our house has a big, tall wall around the whole property. If someone wants to ring our doorbell, they stand on the street and ding the speaker phone. I can choose to answer the phone or not. They would never know if I was avoiding them like a Jehovah’s Witness or if I was simply not home. In order to let someone into our house, I must walk down the driveway and manually open the door for them to enter into our yard first.
Compare that to how close a stranger actually comes to me when he rings my doorbell in Minnesota. I remember the jolt of fear that I felt at seeing a perfect stranger standing right at my front door, looking shamelessly into my living room through the window at the side of the front door. I wanted to click an imaginary speaker phone and order the guy back out onto the street. “Hey! Hey! Hey! You are WAY TOO CLOSE to my house!” I wanted to yell, “Back off Buddy!”
I had changed.
In addition to the doorbell out on the street and a wall around the yard, when we were negotiating our contract with the land lord, we agreed to install a security system with door alarms if he would beef up the security of the wall. He gladly agreed. A few weeks later we had a lovely electric fence on top of the front of the wall and barbed razor wire around the sides and the back of the wall. Not very pretty, I admit, but MAN DO I FEEL SAFE NOW! Everyone, and I mean everyone, has barbed wire around their walls. Now we blend in. And I like that.
So that explains how I actually feel SAFER living in Costa Rica than I did living in Garrison Keillor’s imagination (I’m referring to Lake Wobegon, in case you have no idea or have never heard Prairie Home Companion Radio Broadcast. It’s hilarious, by the way.) Here I know that no one can get close to my house just by ringing my doorbell.