“What do you know about the sex offender that lives down the street?” A mom asked me yesterday at the bus stop.
The bus pulled up, I waved good-bye to the boys, and then hurried home to check out the sex offender registry. I had checked a couple of years ago, but never thought to keep checking it. Sure enough, diagonally across from me there is a registered sex offender. It is someone older than me who must have recently moved in with his elderly mother. I don’t see him there often, in fact I hadn’t realized he moved in.
So, that is a little unnerving to say the least. Home is a place where I want to feel safe. I want to go for a run, walk the dog, or let my boys do the same. When I looked at the details, it says he was convicted of rape back in 1984. I know he served almost 20 years of an 80 year sentence. What I want to know is whether it was relational rape or was it a violent stranger rape. I’d feel a whole lot safer if it was relational, because I have no relationship whatsoever with him!
It was almost 30 years ago. He would have been in his late twenties or early thirties at the time. Does that mean he’s rehabilitated or should we still be concerned? I truly believe that God can totally change a person. I am nothing like I was just 20 years ago … 30 years ago I was 10, so I’m definitely nothing like I was then 😉 But how do I know if this man has changed? Oh, I forgot to mention that he was also one of the suspects in a 30-year-old unsolved murder case – a relative of the woman he was convicted for raping. I wish I didn’t know any of this, if you live near me, I apologize for telling you if you didn’t already know. Ignorance is bliss!
So what do I do with this information? Do I keep going on through life like we were before? Or do I need to make some changes? Do I let the boys stay home alone like we have occasionally done, or do we need to be there to protect them? I saw him outside today, but he was getting into his car and driving away, so there was no awkward not knowing how to react to him moment. But if we are outside at the same time, do I smile and wave and say hi like I would normally do, or do I keep my head down and keep walking? God, I truly need wisdom and peace on this!
Did I mention that ignorance is bliss?????
So Thursday’s Thoughts on Home is really a question … what do you do when a sex offender lives across the street? (I definitely would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this one.)