They’re the words Saleh Hadri never expected to hear.
For fifteen months he’d been a fugitive, on the run and hiding from the Swedish police, who believe that in 2011 he shot and killed Alex Ghara Mohammedi, the leader of a gang called “The Wolfpack Brotherhood.”
Last week Mr. Hadri decided he’d had enough running and wanted to try to clear his name. His first step was to turn himself in to the police station in Malmo, Sweden. When he got there, the door was locked. He rang the doorbell and was told by someone inside that he would have to come back during business hours. He explained that he was a longtime fugitive wanted for murder and was ready to turn himself in. He was given the address of another police station and told to go there.*
Once in a while, life does you a favor. It offers you a freebie. It says, “Here, have one on the house.” It’s astonishing how many times we respond by saying, “Sorry, we’re closed. Go somewhere else.”
I once knew a businessman who liked to help people who were having a hard time. He knew about a young man in our church who was unemployed, so he told me he was going to call the guy and offer him a job. A few days later I ran into that young man and said, “So when do you start your new job?” He said, “What new job?” I said, “Didn’t So-and-so call and offer you a job?” The young man said, “Oh yeah, he did. But I didn’t take it because I didn’t want to work weekends.”
I just about came unglued.
“You’re UNEMPLOYED! You’re living with your parents! You can’t pay your bills! What do you mean you don’t want to work weekends!”
He looked at me with the pity the enlightened always reserve for the clueless. I could tell he thought I just didn’t get it.
Today, do you hear a doorbell ringing? Has God brought a blessing–a freebie–to your door? Is he trying his best to help you? If so, I hope you won’t turn that blessing away, especially for some petty reason.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” It would be tragic if God decided that now was the right time to give you part of your future and your hope, only to have you greet him with the words, “Sorry, we’re closed.”
*Reported by Megan Griffo, The Huffington Post, 2/20/2013