A Georgia family facing foreclosure had its home ransacked by crowds that went way beyond items available at a "free yard sale" advertised on Craigslist.
Pamela Hobbs, 59, has lived in the same home in Woodstock, Ga., for the past 20 years, but she found out at the beginning of October that it was being foreclosed upon. … "We were just cleaning up and trying to get rid of some stuff so we wouldn't have so much to move if we did find a place," Hobbs told ABCNews.com. …The sale would start at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, and would finish "when everything's gone."
Everything that was to be given away was put outside the home Tuesday night for people to take the next day. …
No one was at the home when people started to arrive for the sale. The family was staying with Hobbs' mother just five minutes away.
When Hobbs … arrived at the home just after 10 a.m., she said, nearly 20 cars were parked in the cul de sac and her house had been cleaned out by the time she arrived. "Someone broke in and opened the front door," said Hobbs. "Then, it was just a free for all."
While the family tried to explain that the things inside the home were off limits, people just walked away with their property. … "They basically emptied packed boxes, went through our things, and took what they wanted," Hobbs said. "It was just mayhem. It was like vultures."
Turns out, Ms. Hobbs left the front door unlocked, never expecting the crowds to violate her boundaries. After all, she was extending a hand of generosity, a hand of friendship. This is the thanks she got.
Kindness can be a dangerous endeavor these days. The world wants to ravage us much like these Craig's List yard sale "shoppers" ravaged poor Ms. Hobbs' home. When we extend a hand of friendship, we shouldn't be surprised when those we seek to help bite it. That doesn't mean we shouldn't extend the hand, but don't be guilty of naivety. Extend the hand, but guard the door.
"Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves" (Matthew 19:16).