She was shopping at Wegman’s, piled the bags of groceries into the backseat of her car and drove off for her next errand. At the mall, she started browsing in the shops and found something she liked and reached into her purse and her heart suddenly pounded with panic. She could not find her wallet.
The clerk patiently waited for her, but it was no use. Her wallet had disappeared and it was not in its usual spot. Damn. She ran out of the mall thinking where she might have lost her precious. She drove back to the Wegman's on Ridge Road. When she got out, she frantically started looking into the metal carts for her wallet. The Helping Hands employees came out to inquire what was the problem. They offered to help her look for the missing wallet but there was nothing to be found. She was told to go into the store and ask customer service if a wallet was returned at the service desk.
She ran to the desk, out of breath and shaking, and asked the young people if anyone returned a wallet. The staff said no one had brought anything to their counter and there was nothing in the lost and found box.
Suddenly she felt a flash or flush, (only God knows) during the conversation, she had this epiphany that she was not in the right Wegman’s store. She had gone shopping to Wegman’s earlier in the day, but it was the Wegman’s on Lyell Avenue not Ridge Road.
She felt like an idiot, but she still needed to find her wallet. So off she flew back into her car, cursing the slow moving traffic driving down Long Pond Road. She started praying and told God that she would go to church this Sunday if she found the dumb wallet. She eventually drove into the parking lot. For some reason, this looked more familiar and she again began her frantic search for the wallet. Nothing found in the cart corrals outside the store, so she ran inside the store to the customer service counter and screamed at the kids in a panic if anyone returned a wallet that afternoon.
The kids were horrified, but they checked all around their counter and terrified reported back that nothing had been left in lost and found. Disappointed and exhausted, our friend sadly started walking from the counter heading into the hallway. Nearing the entrance door, she heard a voice from behind her say something like, “Ma'am, Ma'am.” She turned around and one of the girls from the counter came running up to her with this purse that had a wallet. Is this your wallet? She instantly recognized her precious cargo. Then she began to cry and the customer service girl hugged her and the two women were crying together. The customers walking past were staring at all the fuss. They were tears of joy. Actually they were tears of gratitude that the kids took the extra time to search the counter again until they found her wallet in the lost and found.
Stuff happens, and most likely we have no control when bad things happen to good people. But it’s our response that makes a difference and this is exactly the purpose of Lent. How do we reflect the glory of God when things fall apart and we are in a frenzy?. We need to make a difference and one way is to learn how to pray.
Our normal practice is usually is a knee jerk response to some crisis, “Lord, get me out of this jam, or help me in times of trouble, or take away this, that or the other.” God does not make bad things happen to us. Rather, we need to learn to come to God in silence and “listen.”
God holds us up especially in moments of panic as we pray: “ …let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.” (Proverbs 1:5).
Lord, I pray for all my Sonshine Friends who have their share of desperate moments and struggle to just survive. Teach us to simply listen to the prayers at Mass, in the Scripture, in our spiritual reading and in the quiet of our soul and learn your wisdom that comes to bring us inner peace.