Job 2:10

I am posting this from my old iMac that I bought in 2002. It’s mighty slow and it crashes a lot, but for now, it’s all I’ve got. While Fran and I were at work today, someone broke into our house. They tried to enter through the bathroom window, but only managed to bust up the screen; then they successfully got through the bedroom window, breaking both the screen and the window pane in the process. They ransacked the bedroom, and alas, found about $150 in cash we had squirreled away; then they made their way through the house, helping themselves to our two newest computers, my iPod and Bose sounddock, our video camera, and both our digital cameras. They must have left through the sliding glass door out of our den; there were bloodstains there (apparently from the broken glass in the bedroom) but no sign of forcing, suggesting that they opened it from the inside.

What particularly hurts is that I kept my writing files backed up on a memory stick – and it was plugged into my laptop. It’s missing, along with both computers. So basically all the work I’ve done on the book over the last six months (along with all the other writing I had saved, as well as all our digital photos, Rhiannon’s medical records, Fran’s music and recipes) are gone.

Our blessings: we are all okay, as are all three cats. Both guitars were left. We have a friend working on repairing the window, and we do have homeowner’s insurance. Re-creating the book is mostly just a matter of re-doing the work I’ve done, and there’s plenty of material on this blog that will be adapted for the book, and it’s not due on my editor’s desk until St. Brigid’s Day 2009. We’re learning a hard lesson about doing online backups (if you’re not doing that, it’s time to start). But we’re trying to be thankful for our blessings. Although right now we’re all pretty slammed.

In Memoriam: Kenneth Leech
Pentecost and Ecstasy
Mysticism and the Divine Feminine: An Interview with Mirabai Starr
Preliminary Practices for Christian Contemplatives
About Carl McColman

Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.

  • Sue

    Oh, mate :( When I read about the book, my heart lurched. Yep, no way out of feeling slammed about this, bro, even though I admire your thanking your blessings.

    That’s just not fair :(

  • zoecarnate

    Carl, as I said earlier, I’m so sorry. This is terrible times 11, and your family is in our prayers. In fact, I’m gonna get real specific like a Pentecostal, and pray that your stuff gets found!

    Talk to you soon…

  • Darrell Grizzle

    Carl, my prayers and my love are with you and Fran and Rhiannon.

  • Marne

    I’m so sorry this happened. I’ve worked a lot of burglaries in my career and I can only imagine how violated you must be feeling.

    I’m not sure exactly where you live, but if there are any pawn shops near by, make sure to check those for your belongings. A lot of criminals will unload things there quickly, especially if the owner of the shop doesn’t take photographs of the people pawning things like he is supposed to!

  • Diana

    Oh, Carl, I’m so sorry to hear this. You and your family will be in my prayers.

  • Peter

    Carl–I know it is impossible to say the right thing at times like this–and I wish I had something or “things” I could give you to help out–but I can and do pray for your peace of mind, and I join Mike in praying that you get your stuff back. When we had our passports stolen in the San Francisco Airport (long story) my wife prayed for the thief that he/she get convicted by the Holy Spirit, and we did eventually get everything back minus the cash (the rest of a long story).

    When Samuel Wesley suffered a house fire, and young John was barely saved (as a “brand plucked from the fire”), he said, “My children are safe, and that is enough.”

    If you are already reading Job, I recommend Job in The Message–it’s a fresh approach to an old story.

    I prophecy over you that in some way that I can’t see, you will be blessed and your book will be even better and more effective in reaching people as a result of this experience. “And we know that God works all things together for good for those who are called according to his purpose.” I pray that this will include you and your family getting even closer to Him as you seek Him at this time.


  • judith collier

    I’m so, so sorry for you and your family. Thank God you weren’t home at the time. love and prayers for you. judy

  • Andrew Dahlburg

    Sorry to hear about that Carl. It constantly amazes me what some people will do in this life!

    Your story about your lost literary work is disheartening but despair not. I was reminded of a story I heard about the great Scottish social critic Thomas Carlyle. He lent John Stuart Mill a hand written copy, the only copy, of his “The French Revolution” to review. Later, one of Mill’s housekeepers saw the papers, thought they were trash and burned them. You can imagine what went through Mill’s mind, when he then had to muster the courage and go tell Carlyle! Years of work down the drain.

    Moral of the story. Carlyle took it in stride, and still ended up writing a classic.

  • Don

    I’m very sorry to hear of your misfortune. I’ll pray that it all works out for you. There may be an opportunity for you here. I’ve been storing more of my must have files on Google Docs. Is that an option for you? Also have you heard of :-) Don