Sunday, January 18, 2009

Experiencing God at Southbrook:Monroe

Today my family visited Southbrook Church's Monroe campus (where our friend Geoffrey Janes is campus pastor). They've got a great thing going on down there, and I'd urge you to check out that church if you're in the area. It's a video campus, which I thought would be kinda weird, but honestly it really works well there. The live house band is an incredibly talented group of guys and gals — wow! We truly had a neat visit there.

The visit ended in a very strange way, however. As we were leaving the service, I felt for my wallet and found it missing. Now, on the way to the church, we'd stopped by the Dunkin' Donuts drive-thru for breakfast, and I remembered that I'd put my wallet into the console between the front seats of our car. I was a little nervous about having left my wallet in the car unattended, but, trusting that all would be well, we didn't bother to rush out of the church. We took our time, picking up the kids from the child care area, chatting with Geoff and his wife, Nancy, and so on. In fact, we were one of the last folks to leave the building that day.

On our way out to the car, I used the remote entry fob to unlock the doors from a distance. When I got to the car, my wallet was not in the console. Now, because I'd used the remote entry device, I couldn't tell if the car doors had been locked or unlocked throughout the church service. Had I left the doors unlocked, and my wallet in plain sight? We looked around the car for signs of anyone having rummaged through it — nothing. We looked around the car for my wallet — nothing.

I went back into church to see if maybe the wallet had dropped out of my pocket inside somewhere. Again, no luck. I spoke with Nancy and Geoff to see if anyone had reported a found wallet — no dice. After giving up on the search inside, I returned to the car. Amy and the boys had been continuing to search for and pray about the wallet. They looked under and around seats, in the glove compartment and console, under the console, around the car, and so on. Everywhere that could be searched, they searched.

I want to pause here to mention something that merits mention. Throughout this entire ordeal, I was perfectly calm. Anyone who knows me well will assume that either I am lying about that, or that I simply don't know what "perfectly calm" even looks like. I can't explain why (in psychological terms, anyway), but I was just confident that God would see us through this mini-crisis.

Anyway, as I got back to the car and heard from Amy that nothing had been found, I grabbed my cellphone to contact banks and credit card companies and start blocking card numbers. While thumbing though the address book, I asked (somewhat naively) if Amy had looked under the car seats. She said she had, showing me that — multiple times, even — she had looked right … what?! There it is! My wallet was sitting, pretty as you please, almost in plain view to the right of the console!

Clearly, some rejoicing and prayers of thanksgiving were in order. Once we finally calmed down, I drove the car over to the entrance of the church (which, by the way, we — and only we — had passed through three times in the past five minutes or so). I asked Amy to hop out and run inside to tell Nancy the good news about my wallet. As she stepped onto the sidewalk, I saw Amy bend down and pick something up. Can you believe it? There was a dollar bill lying in the middle of that white sidewalk! So not only did she get to tell Nancy the good news, but she was able to donate an extra dollar towards to the ministry of that facility! What an incredible, incredible experience it all was.

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