I was not overly alarmed when my handbag was not on the kitchen counter this morning. Sometimes I absentmindedly leave it in the trunk of the car after my cemetery walk. So I nonchalantly went outside and popped the trunk-and no handbag. The same scene flashed through my mind as would yours: credit cards, driver's license, checkbook, assorted supermarket membership cards, and five $1 bills.
I sent up a panicky one-word prayer and told my son my plight. I sought help retracing my steps of yesterday. I woke my daughter and asked if she noticed whether I had my bag when I picked her up after my time at Dunkin' Donuts. She was too groggy to process the question, let alone answer it.
Finally, I sat down on the steps, in the presence of my son, and prayed in earnest. I asked the Lord to help me, and to teach me what He wanted me to learn from this, including humility. (My son had had a fender-bender three days earlier, and I was feeling like I had "hand" in the relationship.) Then I took off to the doughnut shop, where I had gone to read the Bible yesterday, where I had met a stranger, and from whence I had left in haste to pick up my daughter.
Here is the main thing I want to tell you: On the drive to Dunkin' Donuts, in the sharp lucidity of urgency that dispels all dilettantish and pedantic inclinations, I was hoping to God that whoever found my handbag was a person of traditional morality. I remembered the saying: "If you invite to dinner a person who does not have traditional morality, be sure to count the silverware afterward."
I was hoping that the finder of my beautiful shrunken-cloth woven bag, which had been a gift from a woman at the last retreat I spoke at, did not belong to the "finders-keepers" school of ethics. I thought about my own susceptibilities to "non-traditional" thinking-that is, to Satan's attractive facsimiles of righteousness, and oh-so-slight bending of uprightness. May I never again depart from the perfect rectitude of the perfect Word.
I got to Dunkin' Donuts and it was busy so I had to wait. I spoke to the cashier, whom I recognized from yesterday. He went to the back room and reappeared with my handbag. There was nothing missing from it.