Lost and found


Have you ever lost your wallet? I have.

Last Saturday I drove to Beavercreek to watch my grandson, Isaiah, play basketball. I took out a five-spot from my wallet to pay the discounted senior admission when I arrived.

I took a seat on a bench at midcourt. Isaiah had a good game. I shook his hand after, told him his step-back three was a beauty, and how his game was really improving. I bid him a good day, and drove home. It had been a nice afternoon.

I changed clothes when I got home. I have a routine in emptying everything from my pockets. First, I take out my keys from the right front pocket, followed by my handkerchief in the left back pocket, then my phone from the left front, and finally my wallet from the right back. When I reached for the right back, I discovered nothing there. The wallet was missing.

I didn’t panic immediately, thinking, “No biggie, I must have left it in the car.” Probably laid it on the console when I got a drive-thru coffee for the ride home, except … I didn’t get any coffee, or anything else, on the way home. I didn’t stop anywhere. As I carefully retraced my afternoon steps, I realized I’d never taken the billfold out again after paying admission to the game. Gulp.

That meant I’d either been pickpocketed, or the wallet had fallen out. “Criminedli”, I thought (that’s Robyn’s sanitized word for what I really thought). Now what? Immediately my mind raced to canceling credit cards, getting a new driver’s license, and all the other aggravation following. It was depressing, and frustrating, and seemingly hopeless. Criminedli!

I guess I could check if the gym had a “lost and found,” but what are the chances? If I’d been pickpocketed, looking for it was a lost cause. And even if someone found it, what are the odds a decent, law-abiding, charitable person would find it and turn it in? Somewhere between a missed dunk and an airball I thought.

I prayed, asking God for help. I know, seems like a frivolous notion to bother God with, but in my 44 years of pursuing Him, I’ve grown accustomed to praying through frustrations. And, I mean, it’s worth a try, right?

I did a little Google search, and uncovered an email and mobile number for the gym’s proprietor. I doubted the information was current and accurate, but sent out a request about the billfold anyway. Lo and behold, I got a nearly immediate reply, saying she’d already corresponded with the person in charge of the tournament, but nothing had been turned in. I expressed my gratitude, then retired to bed in a pessimistic pout. “I’ll just have to cancel the cards tomorrow,” (great faith, huh?).

I went to church the next morning, and missed an incoming phone call. Seeing it was from the Dayton area I stepped out and returned the call. They’d found the wallet (what?) and I could pick it up that afternoon (are you kidding me?). Hallelujah. And guess what? Nothing was missing. Somehow the wallet had just mysteriously fallen out of that right back pocket, completely unbeknownst to me.

Interesting I think, we all are like my wallet was, lost. I know that sounds archaic, but “lost” is the Biblical rendering of our condition after we’ve sinned (another antiquated term, but bear with me), and we all sin; everyone of us.

The Bible is replete in description of our lostness. There are no exceptions. The propensity to err morally is innate in our human condition. We’re told, “there is none righteous, no, not one”, (Romans 3:10b); and “all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory,” (Romans 3:23a).

The “Roman’s Road” explanation of the gospel goes on to explain, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23), because, “… God demonstrates his love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8).

My wallet was found, and you can be too. And just as I needed help, so do you. It’s really not complicated Friend. Just ask.

“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As the Scripture says, ‘Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.’” (Romans 10:9-11)

Email me if you’d like to talk more about this, okay?

Dave Hinman

Pastor Emeritus, Dove Church Wilmington

[email protected]

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