lost and found

part the first:
I lost $20.
Don’t you hate that?
Deposited a check and kept $20 for coffee and whatnots.
Stuck it in my pocket.
Kept it in my pocket—
even after noticing
that when I pulled my phone out of that pocket
the bill sometimes came out with it.

Then it was gone.
Disbelief.
Anger.
Chagrin.
Regret.

Then,
would you believe (I didn’t),
I found myself praying
for the person who might find it (what?):
“May they find it with joy,
receive it with gratitude,
with all the wonder of an unexpected, unmerited gift.
May it not be someone for whom $20 doesn’t mean much—
someone who would simply claim it as more property.”

part the second:
I found that $20 bill I lost!
Not that I was retracing my steps
(I had already done that:
walking down the street I had walked—
imagining seeing it caught in a bush—
blown against the curb,
walking by recently mowed grass,
and imagining finding shreds of a bill!).
No, I was just one of the places I had been,
and there it was.

Now,
how was I to receive it—
after the prayer prayed?
Not just as one who lost and found, right?—
reclaiming my own property with relief
and a sense of appropriateness.
But as one who did not expect to find—
as one who had given up on the the idea
that what was lost was mine in the first place.
And then—with joy—
with gratitude—
with wonder.

When Jesus talked about the good shepherd
finding that one lost sheep,
it was some of all of that, right?

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