I think I lost my wallet

Last Saturday the four of us went out for a nice family meal in the city center of Florence, Italy. We had wonderful conversation, great food, and great service. After that we did some exploring on foot to walk off the dinner and to continue the relaxing evening. As we we became tired from the long day filled with walking adventures, we began our journey to walk back to the hotel.

Preston and I were ahead of Amy and Peyton, and we eventually lost them. A few minutes later Amy messaged me asking if I wanted an American beer from the store they stopped into.

After being in Italy for over three weeks, the thought of an ice cold American beer sounded wonderful and nostalgic! As excited as I was for the beer, I was grateful for the thoughtful gesture.

Later we reconvened at the hotel and went to sleep soon after. The next day’s itinerary was long and full of travel.

After a good sleep we quickly packed up, got ready, and had breakfast at the hotel. We checked out and were on our way to the train station with plans to go separate ways for the week.

My plans were to meet with work counterparts to take the train to Milan, then rent a car get us to a hotel close to one of our plants which we would visit the next day. After this we would visit a different plant, traveling city to city via car, train, taxi etc. all week.

Amy and the boys were also headed to the train station en route to the sea for a few days since I was busy with work.

With suitcases and backpacks in tow, we were about two minutes from the train station in central Florence when Amy said, “hmm… my purse feels light”.  She looked inside and said, “I think I lost my wallet”. Panic set in. We frantically looked through the rest of our luggage and began to mentally retrace our steps.

Big tourist towns are known for pickpocketing so that was my first thought. Second thought was, I have to get on that train in about 15 minutes. Our credit and debit cards were the same, and she didn’t have cash. If we had to cancel all of our cards, it would be a complete disaster.

We decided I needed to catch the train and Amy and the boys would retrace their steps since the night prior. We prayed, gave hugs, and I gave her some cash along with one of my credit cards.

I went on my way, and what should have been a joyful reuniting of work brothers had a dark cloud over it. I was sick to my stomach. Amy felt devastated and miserable and guilty. She felt like it was her fault, we didn’t know what we were going to do.

Really all I cared about was Amy and the boys. I felt so horrible for her. I knew she’d put all the blame on herself, and I didn’t like her feeling that way. I couldn’t focus, my mind going in circles wondering what could have happened.

Amy and the boys went to the hotel and scoured the room with no luck. They made the hotel aware of the situation and received some sympathy, but that was it. After that they thought might as well go to the store where Amy was the night prior; the last place the wallet was seen.

The store wasn’t open yet so they waited outside. Finally a light came on and a man opened the door to let her in. Language barriers in play, she was able to explain that she had lost her wallet.

After a long pause which to her seemed like an eternity, the man reached below the counter and slowly pulled the wallet out! He said that he waited until after midnight at the store to see if she would return. What joy!!! I literally had tears in my eyes (in front of the guys) when Peyton sent this picture to me!

Shortly after this lost and found story, I laughed out loud when I looked at my assigned verses for this week… how appropriate, God works in mysterious ways!

The Parable of the Lost Coin

“Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ 10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Luke 15:8-10 & Psalm 122