Surprises Big and Small

Life is filled with lots of surprises, some that are wonderful and some that have you paralyzed with sadness.  I have been pleasantly surprised quite a few times this week and it is only Wednesday.  My best surprise, to date, happened yesterday in the early evening.  But I am getting ahead of myself as the story actually begins on Sunday afternoon.

Sunday was a busy day—aren’t all Sunday’s busy for pastors?  But in the midst of the busyness I needed to make a quick run to Target to pin up a few extra items for the college care packages that we would be assembling later that afternoon.  Long story short, I dropped my wallet somewhere in Mondawmin Target.  I quickly realized it, but after an hour of searching for it with my kids, a Target employee, and their security.  I gave up.  Credit Cards were cancelled and I began listing all things in my wallet.  On the upside, this would give me the opportunity to get a new Driver’s License. Maybe I would have a better hair day this time?  I can only hope.

Quite to my amazement, I wasn’t too upset about it.  It was a great opportunity to talk to my kids about taking responsibility for one’s actions.  Youngest was upset that she wouldn’t be getting the snack items in the cart for school lunches this week and oldest was assured that someone would find it and give it back to us. I love her optimism, but I told her it was REALLY unlikely.

On Monday, I rang the Target to ask if anything was turned in, no dice.  Oh well, guess once we get new credit and debit cards I would be off to replacing the items in the wallet.  Or so I thought…

On Tuesday afternoon, I picked up the girls (and littlest besets friend) from their afterschool program a little early as I wanted to enjoy the afternoon outside with them.  As we sat on our front steps, playing with play dough and chalk, I heard someone call my name.

I didn’t recognize her, but thought she might be a mom at MB.  She wasn’t.  As I stood to approach her, she pulled from her pocket my wallet which she found late Sunday at Target.  Shocked, completely shocked.  Basically rendered speechless with gratitude.  She explained that she thought about mailing it, but thought against that.  She didn’t want someone to get ahold of the credit cards inside.  She wanted to get it to me on Monday, but her schedule didn’t allow it.  So, here she was standing before me with my wallet after taking buses to get to my house from her home in south Baltimore.

I am not sure how many times I said thank you. I think every other word may have been thank you.  Heck, I even asked if I could hug her–which she agreed to.  She is at the top of my thank you note list!!

As the woman walks up our street and cuts back over towards St. Paul.  My oldest daughter says, “I told you someone would find it and give it to us.”  So, I asked her, “How did you know?”  She replied, “It was Sunday.  Everyone was at Target after they heard about how Jesus’ wants us to share and help others in need.  Just like we did when we made sandwiches.”  Another look of shock on my face.  Not only did she listen to my sermon from that Sunday morning, but she reminded me to listen to my own message.

So today, I give thanks to God for surprises big and small.  And I give thanks that God sends people into our lives to remind us of God’s care and love.

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