Recently I have been reading and thinking about kindness quite a bit. I want to be intentional about growth in character and being more Christlike. I've read several books and have 2-3 more on my coffee table at Cedarly...all about kindness. I had no idea there was so much written about kindness and what that looks like, how that works. Today I had an opportunity to experience kindness...from a stranger and from God himself.
Andy attended the NO REGRETS men's conference at Elmbrook today. He and a friend did a seminar for pastors on Sabbath/Sabbatical. I planned to spend the morning running errands, having a bite to eat, and going to a movie in the early afternoon before meeting Andy at 5:00 for church. Little did I know...
The shopping went well. Only a couple of quick stops needed after a kid's meal at McDonald's...then off to the 1:05 movie at the Majestic. Not! I made the mistake of breaking routine and hung my purse over the back of the chair with my coat on top. I finished eating, gathered up the trash and went to get another cup of Coke. I walked out the door and headed to my next stop...only to discover my purse had been left behind. I turned around and headed back as quickly as possible, but the purse was gone. I asked around among those eating, asked at the check out, and then found the shift manager, Donna. No purse in the lost and found, in the closet, or under the counter...or in any of the trash bins in the bathroom, on the floor or outside the doors. I left my phone number with Donna and headed home to make some phone calls.
All the way home I was praying, asking the Lord to send a kind person to find my purse in a bush, a parking lot, or a trash can.
It's not real easy to get a hold of bankers on the weekend. I did manage to cancel the business card from PRN and our personal card. I was just going to work on the debit card when I had a call from Andy's sister, Carol. She wanted to know if I was okay. She had a phone call from a Milwaukee police officer...he had my purse. Why he chose to call Carol, I do not know. I guess he just picked a number off of my cell phone. Did anyone else get a call? Unfortunately he did not tell Carol which station and there are 7 police stations in Milwaukee. I looked them up on the internet and started calling. Between calls, I got a call from the 3rd District...about 25 miles from home. "Come as soon as you can . It will be at the front desk ~ if you don't make it by 4, it goes in the property room and you can't get it until Monday. It looks like everything is in tact." Some unknown citizen turned it in. It had been found somewhere just outside the McDonald's where I had left it. The officer at the desk had no idea why the unknown citizen turned it in miles away at a Milwaukee station. I'll never know who that kind citizen was.
So, I get back in my car and head toward downtown, turning north at Miller Park. As it turns out, 3rd District isn't a great neighborhood. But, they had my purse, minus gift cards from Applebees and Marcus Theaters, my debit card. and about $25.00 in cash. My grandkid's pictures, my cell phone, my tax exempt cards from stores all over town, my medical ID cards, my grocery cards...all that stuff was there. My recently renewed military ID, my driver's license, my JoAnn's gift card, as well as the MasterCard, Visa, Boston Card, Kohl's card...all there. They took the cash, but left the change AND my house key in the change pocket. Thank you, Lord.
Now the race was on to cancel my debit card...with no charge left in my phone and no phone in the station that will let me call an 800 number. I'm off to Elmbrook Church to find Andy and a phone to use. A couple of greeters offered a phone and found Andy. Using his debit card, I finally reached the office to cancel that card. It's time to go to the Brookfield Police Station to file a report on the theft...just in case any of the card numbers are used any time in the future.
The folks there were helpful and efficient. I made it back to Elmbrook in time for the service at 5. It was an eventful afternoon. But God was kind and got my purse back to me through a kind unknown citizen. I'm grateful and will continue to take more time to be kind toward others.
For now, I'm headed for bed...exhausted.