As my fingers searched through the oversized jacket pocket, my brain struggled to grasp what my fingers could not, I had lost my wallet. I reached again and moved deeper into my pocket, my thoughts whirling and arguing, but the message returned stronger. My wallet was gone.
It was another routine afternoon, computer work set aside, I headed out to make the ritual trade at the pharmacy. The dance opened as always with a numbing wait in line, then name, address confirmation, and birthdate followed by the exchange of card swiping, money, and finally Ron’s all important medicine. My meditations on the relative shortness of time spent in line and thanks sent upward that the promised meds were actually ready, were interrupted by the syncopated sound of my cell phone.
Could I come down to the pier and take photos with friends? My delight was instant and a quick affirmative assured my friend Cat I was on the way! I couldn’t think of a better way to spend an hour or two; the sunset, friends, and a chance to view the sunset through my own baby-blues and my camera lens were far too enchanting to opt out. Besides, Ron wouldn’t need his medicine until morning and my camera was already in the car.
The colors were breathtaking, God’s paintbox was wide open and the clouds were lit with shades of yellow, orange, pink, lavender, purple with waves reflecting and showing their own deep blues and occasional glimpse of greens. Cat and Angela were in full gear, which translated means jackets, tripods, and cameras with favorite lenses. My little Kodak was outclassed, but serene and happy in company with the big guys. It was a bit chilly and still early for the annual four to six weeks of spring break rotations, leaving room for long range views.
The sun had tipped behind the ocean, and I moved up the steps to the promenade and pier. A few more last presses of my fingertip to the trigger button, and it was time to buckle up for the drive home. Telling my photo partners goodbye, I automatically reached into the pocket of Ron’s giant down jacket and felt… nothing. My brain was determinedly trying to convince my fingers my wallet was still in the pocket, but my fingers won the argument!
At the same moment my head finally connected the dots and I realized my wallet was missing, my heart was convinced God had everything under control. This is the part I cannot explain. I felt anxious, but that word is too strong; I absolutely wanted to find my wallet and I was very calm at the same time. No, the three of us did not fall on our knees on the pier to ask God to help us find my wallet. I’m pretty sure each of us was praying for help; I know I was praying!
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27 New International Version
The hunt began there in the dark. Angela handed me her small flashlight, and with the tiny beam I walked back to the parking lot, trying to retrace my steps. The little flashlight and I traveled back to the car on the off-chance I’d dropped my wallet when getting out and putting on the jacket. Nope, nada, it wasn’t at the car or anywhere along the route, but I had not expected to find it there. I thought it must surely be under the pier where we had spent most of our time, and I was certain I would find it, God would receive the glory, I would have my wallet, and all would be hunky-dunky. Except we didn’t find it.
By now Angela and Cat were on the sand with me, the three of us straining eyes as we shone those little beams of light in the hope of seeing something resembling a wallet in the deeper dark under the pier. We looked at every clump of seaweed, checked and rechecked, crossed and recrossed our earlier paths. We found wet sand, a rising tide, but no wallet. Cat rolled up her pant legs and waded deeper to search for my wallet where we had stood earlier. Still no sign.
Did I mention my wallet was mostly black?
The only reasonable choice was to go home. The night was too dark and cold to seek further. As I thanked my friends for their help, Cat said, “I really expected to find it.” She summed up my thoughts very well. I had also fully expected to find my wallet.
On the way home, the conversation with God continued. I was puzzled and concerned, yet still calm. The cash in my wallet amounted to a whopping $15. Not much to most people, but a significant amount to me. With the cash were my ID/driver’s license and debit card, medical insurance card, Costco and pharmacy cards, a couple of loyalty cards, and a Starbuck’s card. Anyone who found my wallet would be well on their way to stealing my ID.
Still I was calm.
I was really not looking forward to telling Ron, though. He has been ill for so long and in pain. Telling him I had lost my wallet would be an additional burden!
To be continued.