A story is told about Muriel Lester, and English Quaker and a striver after kingdom life. One night she returned home from a meeting and found a man with a gun going through her drawers. Their conversation went something like this:
Muriel: “Good evening! Now please put that thing down. I don’t like guns and can’t talk with one in my face.” He looked at her, so stunned that he laid the gun on the dresser, one hand still on it. “Now, how can I help you? What have you come for?”
Burglar: “I’m taking your money, jewellery, and other valuables, lady. Don’t be tough with me.”
Muriel: “You must be in great need. But let’s not tear up my whole house. Here, I have almost no jewellery, but my money is in there. You may get it. I’ll collect the heirlooms and a few other things.” With that she went around her home, removing all her material treasures from their places and bringing them to the burglar. All her money she also gave him. As he walked out of the door, brandishing his gun, threatening her not to call the police, she said, “Don’t worry. Your needs are greater than mine. I will not report. I hope you have enough now. God bless you.” She then went to bed and slept in peace.
A few days later, her goods were all returned to her with an anonymous note: “No one has ever been kind to me before. I can’t steal from you.”
Source | Marilyn Gustin, Finding Joy & Peace: Living the Beatitudes Every Day
(Liguori Publications, 1998) page 44
Imagine you are Muriel, in a similar situation, what would you do? Would you react violently or respond with kindness?