I’ve lived in California for 3+ months and have yet to roll up my windows. When driving, and even when I park my truck on the street for the night, I leave the windows rolled down.
One reason for this is environmental: The drought. I’ve woken up to roughly 90 days of zero chances of rain.
But there is a reason beyond that, and it has to do with the condition of my truck. If you’ve seen my truck you’d understand. There’s not much to steal or to vandalize. I joked the other day that if my truck got vandalized, I might not notice.
“Gary,” you might ask, “are you worried that someone may steal your truck if you leave the windows down?” Honestly, there’s a better chance someone would walk by my truck and leave a $20 bill along with a note: It looks like you could really use this.
The way I see it, rolling up the windows and locking the doors might give a false impression, like there is something of great worth that I’m trying to protect. Nobody walks by my truck and thinks, “I bet there is something in that truck that I have always wanted.” Instead, most people walk by and wonder if they’re up-to-date on their tetanus shots.
Don’t get me wrong: the truck is VERY valuable to me. I’d be devastated if she got stolen. But the value is not in the condition of the vehicle, nor in the articles left in the cab. The primary value it offers is getting me from A to B, from where I started to where I hope to be.
I think we would be better off leaving our windows down, our defenses down, and our hearts open. I’ve noticed that people who live life tightly locked up may be fooling people into thinking they have it all together, like the mystery hidden within is something that passersby long for, would be worth stealing. But once you pry your way into a person’s locked up, tightly closed life, you realize that they are just like you, traveling through life, doing their best to get from point A to point B.
I’ve been fooled many times by the windows-up type. I’ll envy that person who appears to have it all together, who doesn’t struggle with life’s crap like I do. I (wrongly) assume they are better off than me because they locked their doors, not sharing much with the rest of us parked with windows down.
Biblical community is that place where you can roll down the windows and invite others to reach in. Maybe there is something within you that another person in your group can take. And maybe there is something others can reach in and give. There are blessings in both.
One thing I know for certain: People with windows up and doors locked will never find a $20 bill posited on the driver’s seat or taped to the steering wheel. The rolled-up and locked-up are not in a position to receive, to be blessed by others. In order to receive from others, they’d have to first be broken into, shattered shards scattered throughout. “Broken and shattered” is not how the got-it-all-together want to be known.
In Genesis 3, after Adam sinned, what did he do? Sadly, he went into hiding. He rolled up his windows and locked the doors. I’m fine. Nothing to see here. Nothing to worry about. You can leave me be.
Lately I’ve been reading the Bible through a different lens. I see it as God’s story of strolling through neighborhoods in search of people with windows rolled down. God searching for commoners parked or stranded somewhere between points A and B. God loving the rusty ones crazy enough to live wide open, humble enough to accept what others have to offer.
My old ’71 Ford is a good fit for me. And so is life lived with the windows rolled down.