How I reacted to an intruder in my home last Monday

I never knew for sure how I would respond if I ever found an intruder in my home until last Monday night.

No, I’m not talking about a wild animal that somehow found its way inside. I’m talking about an actual person wrapped in enough clothing that I couldn’t tell the police any identifying anything about them.

Let me back up and give you a little back-story leading up to Monday night. Things at work have been more than a bit busy lately. Winter is usually our “slow” time of year. Well, I’ve been putting in close to 60 hours per week since December. Sleep is, unfortunately, one of those things that gets cut into.

Monday afternoon I went down to Carter Blood Care and donated blood. So keep in mind through all this I’m running a pint low.

I crawled in bed about 9:30 with my alarm set for 4:15, this gives me enough time to fix my lunch and enjoy a meal before I head out the door to drive a big-rig around Dallas streets.

I drifted off to sleep on my right side facing away from my bedroom door. I woke up with a slight discomfort so I rolled over to my left side. A peek at the clock told me it was only 11:00.

I suddenly hear a noise like something large falling over in my apartment. I have a fairly nice wood table that somebody discarded near our dumpster. The top is leaning against a wall with the two bases setting in front of it. I had to move it during the day to get at an electrical outlet behind it. I thought that fell over somehow.

So, I got up to take a look. When I walked into the room that doubles as the diningroom/livingroom/library/my writing space I found the back door open with the trim piece sticking out into the room.

I knew I didn’t leave it that way when I went to bed so I surmised there must be somebody nefarious in my home. DUM-DUM-DUMMM

There isn’t much free space in a 700-square-foot apartment to hide in. I heard a sound near the front door so I approached slowly without turning any lights on. The light coming in from the open back door was just enough for me to make out the silhouette of somebody hunched over against the white front door.

Keep in mind that I’m only half awake when the fight-or-flight mechanism kicked in. Bible verses get a bit muddled in those instances. As the needle is listing heavily toward the fight side all I could think of was: “Do unto others as they have done unto you.”

In my mind I’m thinking Alright, punk, you just broke something major of mine, I know you didn’t carry much of yours in here with you, but I’m pretty sure I can find something of yours to break. Let’s start with your nose and go from there. I should also warn you that I’ve never been in any real fights, so, I may not fight by any clear rules.

Not knowing whether this person had a gun I stayed back far enough to be able to jump into my kitchen if I needed to. You see, I hadn’t lost all commonsense.

To let them know I was home at the moment of this ill-timed intrusion I yelled out, “What are you doing?”

Now there are some questions that are asked with no verbal response expected. This was one such question. I didn’t expect him to close the back door and pull up a chair waiting for me to heat up some water so we could enjoy a cup of tea while discussing whether this was a wise career move on his part.

No, I wanted to scare the fecal matter out of him, or her.

I was also following a bit of advice Jesus would have given in this instance: “When somebody breaks in your back door offer him your front door as well.”

This person was a very quick study. With a glance in my direction the front door came open and they exited quicker than they entered a few seconds earlier.

To drive the point home that I get more than a bit cranky when somebody disturbs my precious sleep I followed after him to the door yelling at the top of my three-quarters-awake lungs “GET OUT OF HERE!!!”

I think it all came out as one word, but it worked. He shot off to the right.

When I got to the breezeway I found his accomplice waiting there. He was completely frozen in his tracks, so I gave him a good Texas nudge. I stomped my foot in his direction and yelled, “GIT!”

He caught on, too. It was like in the old cartoons where he’s standing there one second, then all you see are a few little dust clouds and some fading streaks in the direction he ran, which was the opposite direction of the first guy, or gal.

After the fingerprint dust was cleaned up and I was waiting for the apartment maintenance guys to come fix their door a few verses came clearly to my mind.

Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven…For where your treasure is there your heart will be also.”

I carried on a conversation with God, as usual. “LORD, You know I do my best to live by that creed. I don’t have much compared to many in this country. Whatever I have is Yours. You know that. Thank You for letting this end with nobody getting hurt and nothing more than the door jamb being broken. Help those two see the error of their ways. Bring somebody in their lives to show them Jesus and all He did for them. Give them the cowardliness to not try this again, here, or somewhere else.”

In all honesty they could have had my TV. I rarely have time to watch it anyway. Ditto with my DVD player. I usually just use that to listen to background music while I write.

I would have missed having my printer, but, I could have worked around that, too. My microwave oven could have been replaced by the apartment management. They’ve installed some in upgraded apartments.

Do you know what one thing I would have been broken over losing the most? My writer friends know what it is. My computer holds many things I’ve written that haven’t been in the public eye, yet. Sure, it’s all backed up in a virtual cloud somewhere, but, the thought of losing it shakes me, still.

My writing is truly done for God because I know He’s the One who gave me this writing gift. I do my best to get out of the way and let people see Jesus in my writing. I’m pretty sure that’s laying my treasure up in heaven. That’s my goal.

The writer side of me is soaking in the entire experience as best I can.

I guess the humor here is my coping mechanism at the moment.

The effects of having my personal space violently violated has long-lasting implications. Like losing a loved-one your sense of stability and “normal” is taken from you. You hope to get most of it back, but, you also know things will never be the same. It creeps back very slowly. I still have a chair wedged under the doorknob of the back door even though the maintenance guys beefed up the door jamb since the break-in. The patio light hasn’t been shut off, yet.

I’m glad I took Tuesday off from work. I would have gone in with only three hours of sleep. It’s considered very bad luck to drive a semi with that small amount of sleep.

The walk that afternoon helped me sort through a few things as well.

Your prayers are appreciated. The writing will obviously go on. They didn’t take that from me.

I’m curious, what one thing, besides photo albums, would you miss being stolen the most, or, have you re-prioritized your opinion since reading this?

Keep smiling.   Wade



  1. Oh, my gosh, Wade, what a horrible experience! I’m so glad you’re all right (and that you could so clearly remember Scripture during that event :-)!

    To answer your question, aside from my photo albums and computer, I think I’d miss the boxes (yes, BOXES) of stuff my kids made when they were little–bedtime notes to me, cards, school pictures, etc. I’ve lugged those around with me since I moved from Michigan to Kentucky to Alaska to Mississippi back to Alaska to Tennessee and no one’s taking them from me until I’m dead. Then my kids can do whatever they want with them! Of course, now that I have grandchildren, I’m adding their stuff to the stash as well. I pity any man or woman I find trying to take those from me! In addition (and in no way less valuable) are some family Bibles I have that I rarely open, since I have several of my own, but that I treasure because my family members did.

    Take care, keep that chair under the door and the porch light on, and keep writing!


    • Thanks for sharing, Deb.
      Family memento’s are always sacred to the person storing them. Keep them close and cherish them visually from time to time.
      Blessings back at ya.’ Wade

  2. Wade, God protects the righteous.

    My computer is my first thought, my journals and bibles. My bibles are like journals. Then, I remember the year I lost everything on my computer during a repair before icloud. God restored with new stuff and a new mind.

    • Hey Angie, thanks for stopping by.
      I knew computers would resonate with writers. Bibles for Christians also make sense.
      It’s good of God to restore the years the locusts have eaten. The first story I began writing isn’t even on a computer, yet. It’s 300 hand-written pages at this point. I’m pretty sure I could rewrite it if it got burned up or something.
      I can’t wait to get back to it. I wonder how well my writing will improve by then. I’m leaving it all in God’s hands and timing.

      • Wade,
        Yep that’s what He instructs for us to wait on him and he will renew, restore, give us more than we ever hoped for in his name. So your writing will be praiseworthy, honorable, truthful, and gut- wrenching.

  3. Yeah, Ang…umm…it’s that gut-wrenching part that has me a bit perturbed. Why do I have to live through these experiences before I write about them? Why can’t I just research them on the internet like everybody else?

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