Times are hard. In Indianapolis on Monday afternoon, an armed robber wearing a hooded sweatshirt walked into an Indianapolis area Advance America payday loan storefront. According to Advance America cashier Angela Montez, the armed robber apologized. Montez told the Indianapolis police, “He said that he hated to have to do this, but times were hard and he had no choice.”

Montez became upset when she realized what was happy and she began to cry. Then the cashier began to evangelize the robber, talking about God and telling him that he didn’t have to commit the robbery; he had time to change his mind.

With that, the armed robber became the praying robber. He told Montez that he had a two year old child he was trying to support and he felt he had no choice. The praying robber took a bullet out of his handgun and handed it to the cashier, promising it was the only bullet in the weapon and that he would not hurt her. Amazingly, he then asked Montez to pray with him for help in overcoming his struggles. The praying robber and the cashier got down on their knees and prayed together for ten minutes.

Apparently after praying and realizing he still had a child to feed, he took four $5 bills out of the cash drawer and left the rest. The praying robber then asked for Montez’s cell phone, asked her to go into the restroom, and instructed her not to call the police for twenty minutes. Before leaving, he gave her a hug.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Sgt. Paul Thompson said the police were still searching for the praying robber, whose image was clearly captured on an in-store video camera.

The robber who prayed should consider God’s instructions on stealing. God made it perfectly clear how people are to behave and live their lives by giving the people of the Earth the Ten Commandments. Exodus 20:15 states, “Thou shalt not steal.”

Paul also discusses stealing with Christians. Ephesians 4:28 states, “The one who steals must steal no longer; rather he must labor, doing good with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with the one who has need. The robber who prayed has sinned by stealing, that much is obvious.

Certainly, the robber who prayed with the cashier will be caught and prosecuted, as his clear image is now shown everywhere. However, the man who stole $20 to feed his child should also take heart. He needs to remember Luke 23:39-43. This passage refers to Jesus on the cross surrounded on each side by a thief:

(39) One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” (40) But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? (41) We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” (42) Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

(43) Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”

With Christ, there is always hope.

Indianapolis Catholic Examier- Rebecca Carroll

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