Saturday, May 10, 2008

Lost Then Found

I got up this morning and the first thing I thought about was getting in my truck and going to look for my cross. I fed the pups then scarfed down a bowl of Trix and was on my way. There were quite a few bikers on the road and I was wishing I was one of them. I knew it wouldn't be long before they'd be wet as rain was a sure thing...just a matter of when.

I drove to a point where I thought I may have been when I snagged my cross while trying to remove a bug/bee from inside my jersey yesterday. I seem to recall being on a downhill when it happened but I couldn't be sure. I no more pulled over and turned off my truck when my cellphone rang. It was Tammy. She offered a prayer that I'd find it and with that I was on my way.

If the cross fell straight down it would be on or near the road. If I caught it when I snagged the necklace while tossing aside the bug/bee then it would likely be well off to the right and possibly in the tall grass beyond the gravel shoulder. I could only recall seeing the necklace, not the cross, after the incident so I couldn't be sure where the cross fell off.

I walked slowly doing my best to make a sweeping scan from the road to the grass and back again. One guy stopped early on and asked if I needed a ride. I thanked him and explained what I was doing. I wondered if people maybe thought I was drunk as I was zigging and zagging just a bit with my head down trying to cover the entire gravel shoulder in one pass.

About 30 minutes into my search a red car passed going in the opposite direction then turned around and pulled up behind me. By the time I looked back the driver had gotten out and was calling my name. It was a friend from work, Rick Melhorn, who lives nearby. He said he'd passed me once and thought he recognized me but didn't imagine it was me because I wasn't dressed in biking gear and what else would I be doing out there nearly 40 miles from home. I told him my story and with that he was back on his way. He no doubt had better things to do than help me in what looked like a wasted effort. I understood.

I kept asking God for His help in finding my cross but there were times when I began to doubt that I was going to find it. Even though I'd done a good search yesterday my doubts were quickly replaced with thoughts that I was certain it would soon be found. I simply believed our prayers would be answered.

About ten minutes after talking with Rick an SUV slowed and pulled to the side ahead of me. I didn't want to look up for fear that I'd miss seeing my cross. The driver got out and I expected him to ask if I needed help. Instead, he asked if I knew where Troy Burne golf course was. My first thought was, 'Dude...if my cross is on the shoulder, you probably just drove over it.' Slim chance I figured. I told him the course was just up the road on the left. He got in his truck and drove off.

I continued up the road and got to where his truck had been parked. There, laying in the SUV's tire tracks I found my cross. It suffered some damage from being driven over but I was so thankful to have it back. It was only a couple inches onto the gravel shoulder. I couldn't find it to save my life yesterday but there was no missing it today.

Within a couple minutes of finding it Tammy was ringing my cellphone to see how I was doing. She was very happy for me when I told her that I'd just found it. She then did something which I'd forgotten about in my excitement. She thanked God and it wasn't just in a figure of speech sort of way.

It's nice to have it back.

Had I been just a minute or two earlier in my search I would have found it before it was driven over. It's still all there and it still represents a faith which is important to me. I watched as the guy in the SUV drove over my cross and was helpless to stop it. A bit of harsh reality after all the searching I'd done. Perhaps there's a symbolic lesson in there. People can trample Christ's name or disparage the church but they can't diminish my faith in Him and what He means to me. Maybe I'm reaching with this. Maybe not.

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