The Tale of the Lost Wallet
“Joe lost his wallet,” she texted.
“What? Oh no. How?”
“We stopped at the store, then went to McD’s. And he couldn’t find it. He put it on the boat while we put drinks in the cooler. It must have blown off!”
I’ve already slipped into her shoes. Pulled on the guilt wrap. Wondering if she’s thinking it’s her fault.
Because I’d be entertaining that thought. Chewing on it. Rolling it around in my head.
If only I hadn’t asked him to take me fishing…
If only we’d just stayed home and watched the ballgame…
If only I hadn’t suggested going to visit Patty at the hospital after church, we wouldn’t have hit that motorcyclist at that intersection where the malfunctioning light was green in all directions…
If only I had picked up the bike she dropped in the driveway…
I seem to think I’ve got the power to be responsible for–and to blame for–everything bad that happens.
“We’ve backtracked three times, checked everywhere. If it blew off, someone took it.”
I think about my wallet, stuffed so full of my life it won’t latch. Not just money–maybe only five dollars at the most. But I’ve got pictures, credit cards, bank card, insurance cards, driver’s license, voting card, coupons, gift cards, business cards, receipts.
In fact, a bunch of stuff spilled out of it yesterday. There’s a pile right here on the table. An Olive Garden gift card, a Meijer gift card (where’s the other one?), a Biggby coffee gift card, a Starbucks card, an Express-Scripts prescription card, bank receipt, a Mangiamo’s receipt from April, a gas fuel card, a Farm Bureau membership card, our hospice social worker’s business card (haven’t talked to her since December), and a credit card I accepted only to get the discount on my purchase.
To lose my wallet would mean I’d have to reclaim my identity–cancel cards (if I could remember which ones I had) and replace my license. I’d stay awake nights wondering who was charging things up or raiding the pennies in my bank account and if every sound was someone trying to break in.
I remember the last time I misplaced it. I panicked briefly, and then remembered I’d laid it down next to the donut tissues because I just had to have a Krispy Kreme–fresh and hot or not. We went back to find that some honest person had turned it in to the cashier.
“Are you sure it didn’t fall into the boat, that it’s not wedged somewhere in there? Did you look under the seats?”
“We’ve looked everywhere. Eighty dollars, bank cards, credit card, company credit card, driver’s license, job licenses. He’s pretty relaxed about it. I’m a wreck. But we’ve already gone home to cancel all the cards.”
I’m wondering if I’d remember what cards I had and how to cancel them. I make a note to make a note. After I purge my wallet of excess.
After I purge my life of excess.
“I guess it could be worse,” I text. “At least he knows what’s there–what was there. Maybe he’ll get a phone call. I’ll pray for an honest person to track him down.”
I wake up in the middle of the night and pray for the 23-year-old son of a friend who’d been in a freak boating accident. They’d tried for weeks to save his foot, but couldn’t. They had to amputate.
I pray for our Compassion girl in Kenya–for her health and purity and rain for her land and peace for her country (as she asked.)
I remember the wallet and pray for an honest person.
Nothing fancy. Just a simple prayer. A simple request.
The next afternoon, I stop at the house.
“You’ll never guess! He got his wallet back with everything in it! Some guy saw it blow off the boat and picked it up off the road.”
I nod and smile big. “I prayed for an honest person.”
“You’re good!” she says.
“No,” I say, “God is good.”
I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer. ~Psalm 17:6 (NIV)
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