We arrived at the park this morning to see my dear Long Beach friend, who has recently graced this world with yet another beautiful baby girl. When we parked along the street, M became very concerned. See, back in June when my parents watched the kids for us, my mom’s car was totaled while parked along the street at their local park. I explained to M that was a completely random, very rare occurrence. “Those kinds of things don’t happen often. Our car should be very safe here.”
The car was safe. My wallet was not. We spent the morning playing, had a nice picnic lunch, and finished up taking turns on the monkey bars. When I say “taking turns,” I mean I held each child’s legs as they hung minimally from the bars while we worked our way across. My friend finished nursing her baby and came over. We talked for a few more minutes while the last ones took their turn, then we gathered our stuff to leave.
At the car, I realized my wallet was missing. I hadn’t noticed anyone else at the park, so I hurried back, assuming I’d dropped it. When we realized it was well and truly gone, we spent the next hour and a half in the hot sun, phoning the police and the cell phone company and the Honda dealer and the banks. See, I have a super wallet that has my cell phone and keys with it too. Not so handy when they all get stolen together.
Poor M snuffled around the entire time, utterly shattered. He’d been anxious enough about the car. Now his security had been violated even closer and more intimately, and try as I might to stay calm and positive when talking to him, I couldn’t help but tear up every time I spoke with someone else.
When all hope was lost, we prayed. My friend called her husband, and asked him to pray as well. And regretfully, I must admit that I wondered what the point was. See, the wallet was gone, right? Really gone. God was not going to reach down and drop it back in my lap. I left it where I shouldn’t have, and someone took it. Life is not fair.
But as my friend had just been reminding me earlier that morning, although life is not fair, God is good. We were almost finished with the police report when my husband phoned to tell me that a postal worker had found the wallet in a nearby mailbox. The credit cards, phone, and keys were all inside. So were several gift cards. The only thing missing was sixty dollars. The postal worker quickly brought the wallet back to me, and we discarded the police report.
So in the end, really, the wallet was dropped right back into my lap. God is good. I pray now that the money taken helps whoever took it, and that it will be the last money they ever feel compelled to steal. For me, it was well worth sixty dollars to be reminded that when God is concerned, all is never lost.
As for M, well, I’m not sure what to do. We can talk about this incident and the positives that came out of it, but we did the same with the car accident, and that fear is still holding strong. As it is, I can’t set anything down now without the fretful reminder that someone might take it if I don’t pick it up. It’s hard to get a child to believe in something intangible, like goodness and faith, when the tangibles are so much more real. Then again, it’s hard for adults to do that to. I guess we all just keep trying anyway.