Remember the Wallet


I recently met Kim, an old college friend, at Southcenter Mall.  She asked to treat me to The Spaghetti Factory for a belated birthday lunch.  After a lot of arm-twisting (okay, not really!), I agreed.  We enjoyed catching up on each other’s lives over salad, warm sourdough bread, spinach ravioli, and pasta with clam sauce. Since Kim is also a garage sale/thrift store queen, we cruised around and found a garage sale.

She opened her purse so she could buy punch from the cutest little boy this side of Nevada.  After all, who can resist a five-year-old selling anything?  But her wallet was missing.  She didn’t find it in the car, so we jetted back to the restaurant.

What would you have done if your wallet was missing?  To be honest, I would have gone from calm to major freak-out-mode in .05 seconds.  My mind went to identity theft, credit card theft, and saw her life slide into a pit of identity despair.

To my amazement, Kim said, “Oh, it’ll be fine.  I’m sure I just left it in the booth at lunch.”  I thought even if the wallet was still there, its contents would be missing.  I prayed about it as I drove. Although the Spaghetti Factory was only five miles or so from the garage sale, it seemed to take a lifetime to get there.  The parking lot was jammed as usual and I felt the seconds and minutes ticking away.  Meanwhile, Kim continued telling me about her daughter’s college graduation and some of her son’s struggles.

For Kim, time did not seem to be spinning out of control.  She kept laughing and talking as though nothing had happened. I could not have gripped the steering wheel any tighter as I finally found a parking space.  Taking a deep breath, I prayed again that the wallet would be there.  Once inside, Kim calmly asked the hostess if anyone had turned in a wallet.  When the hostess said she would check, Kim reassured me that everything would be fine. 

I stopped to think about the fact that her wallet was missing and she was reassuring me. A few minutes later the hostess returned with the wallet.  Kim looked inside and everything was intact. Leaving the parking lot, I asked Kim how she stayed so calm.

She explained that since her mother had some major health concerns, she came to realize that nothing in life is worth worrying about.  “No matter what, I know God is always there, and that he will bring me through it and give me peace.  I know that God really has my back, and that worrying doesn’t do a bit of good – in fact it does more damage.”

Although I know several verses about peace and have read through the Bible every year (although usually it takes me a bit longer) for nine or ten years, my freak-out mode still climbs high at times.

Yet in spite of this, anxiety engulfs my soul at times.

And so I ask you – and I ask myself- what would happen if we could tattoo Kim’s attitude onto our hearts, and live at peace under the turmoil of life’s ebbs and flows?  

Amidst the undercurrents of life, what if we could cling to the promise that through it all, God has our backs – even when it doesn’t seem like it? I had prayed that morning for God to order my day, and thinking back about the day, I am grateful about this experience.

I told my husband about it, and now whenever a stressful situation floods us with worry, we tell each other, “Remember the wallet.”

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