I lost the damn wallet again.
It was the second time in about a week it turned up missing. The first time was in Korea and I never detected it’s loss. The Reverend Lee, the WON Buddhist minister leading a pilgrimage in Korea last week, had approached me with a black object in her hand. She looked worried and I couldn’t figure out what caused her distress.
“Is this yours?” she asked raising her arm for me to get a closer look at the thing in her hand.
“What is it?” I asked, unsure what she was was talking about. And there it was — my old wallet. I knew it was mine right when I saw the picture from my driver’s license showing through the clear plastic window on the side of what is more of a credit card holder than a billfold.
“We found it in the van,” she said.
I didn’t know what to say because I had packed it in my backpack a week earlier. I had exchanged American dollars for Korean currency, called the Won, and I had no need for the wallet. I had planned not to use any credit cards and was going to do no driving. So I didn’t notice it was missing until then.
Don’t ask me how the wallet fell out. Or why Providence blessed me in insuring that it would get returned to me, sans any missing money or credit cards.
Things turn up when you least expect it whenever you don’t stress about it!
The wallet turned up missing in action as I drove to the VA Hospital in Philadelphia. Parking outside the facility yesterday. I reached into my pocket and noticed there was nothing there. I searched the car seat and the floor below as well as the nucks and crannies in and around the seat, but no wallet anywhere.
I must have left it at home, I thought. Seeing a doctor, he ordered an MRI for some kidney concerns, and I made my way back home. Unfortunately, no wallet greeted me when I got to the house. Try as I might, the wallet remained missing from where I believed I had last seen it.
Could I have dropped it outside? Or left it at my weekly meditation gathering at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia? Off I went to the church. It was in the same direction of a Swedish Massage facilitator I had arranged to meet with one of those “Groupon” coupons. I believed I could sneak into the small chapel of the church where we had met earlier, find the missing item, and get my needed body rubdown
No such luck. The main door to the church was locked. So was the door to the office across a walkway from the church proper. What to do? I yelled. I yelled for help, crying out “Is anybody home? Can anyone hear me?”
A small voice sounded from the upstairs office and a young woman greeted me and escorted me to and into the church where we made our way to the small chapel. Passing my hand beneath the chair where I had sat produced nothing. There was no wallet there. Nor was it hidden in with the two cloth shawls on a small table next to where I sat.
I was about to give up until I checked the other side of the chair and, “Lo and Behold!” There it was. The missing wallet.
Retrieving it, I grabbed the young woman and danced in a circle, thanking her for her intervention with St. Anthony. He’s the patron saint of the Catholic church we’d pray to whenever we lost something and wanted heavenly intervention to help find it.
Funny thing is, I never worried about finding the wallet. I felt secure and sure that the Universe would not cause such a major inconvenience to me. All I needed to do was to not worry, and to let the process unfold without the normal wear and tear of stress. It proved that I can do that. I look forward to the next challenge life poses for me.
But not with the wallet again.
(For another look at Lost and Found, please see: Identity Loss)