Okay I know you have probably moved on from Thanksgiving, the leftovers are gone, fall decorations are down, Christmas lights are up and your favorite holiday tunes are playing in the background while seated in front of your computer on this Cyber Monday scouting the internet for some sweet deals. But if you could allow me to tell you about our family’s All-Time Thanksgiving moment that happened this past Thursday I think it will make you smile today!
Three years ago, Josiah and I traveled back to Sacramento from the Bay Area to catch the Folsom vs. Elk Grove football playoff game. Folsom won a hard fought game and we headed home after a long cold night rooting on the Bulldogs. When we pulled in the driveway, I’m not sure why but I had a sinking gut feeling that something wasn’t right. Sure enough a thief had crowbarred the door off the hinges and made their way into our house and plundered our home. We felt absolutely violated and it’s been a “Thanksgivng” memory that always occupies our minds when we leave our home.
Last week however is a whole different story. We were not robbed; instead we were “Robbied”. Let me explain…
Wednesday night Amy and I were watching a news segment about fraud and identity theft during the Christmas season. Five minutes later we got a call from our son, Josiah telling us that he accidentally left his wallet on a park bench and when he went back for it 10 minutes later it was gone. I wish I could tell you I responded calm, cool and collected, but I was frantic and furious. The night before I had done something I never have done before. I gave Josiah my debit card to make a purchase and failed to get it back from him. I went into full on panic mode, thoughts of my previous “Thanksgiving” memory taunted me, feeling cursed and now fearful that someone was about to do some Christmas shopping with my debit card. To make matters worse the automated voice activated customer service at my bank took about 15 minutes to finally reach a real person!
After I calmed down, my son and I scoured the pitch black park for the discarded wallet or any person that may have been the culprit. We found nothing and we were all very frustrated. At that point I realized I had responded like an idiot and I heard a still small voice whisper to me, “you’ve panicked, but you still haven’t prayed.” We were planning to go to dinner as a family, so after all the commotion we did just that. When our food came, I asked Josiah to pray. He blessed the food, but also prayed that somehow someway the person who took his wallet would bring it back. He prayed in this manner because when going back to the park he asked a gentleman playing tennis if anyone had seen his wallet. The man said a gruff looking man had asked him if anyone has lost anything and headed off into the night. For some reason we had just a little bit of hope.
Josiah and I woke up early Thanksgiving morning and headed down to the park to search again. We looked in every trash can, restroom and every inch of that park but came up with nothing. I told Josiah before we left the park, “we’ve done what we can do, now let’s see what God will do.” To be honest we had already set up appointments with DMV to get his licensed replaced and were counting it as a valuable lesson to be learned, but it was a different lesson as we soon found out.
We were just getting ready to head out the door to join our family for Thanksgiving in the Bay Area when I heard a knock on our door. When I opened the door, a gruff, red-eyed, gray headed homeless man stood before me. He asked, if Josiah was home and I immediately asked him if he had found his wallet. The man reached in his raggedy jacket pocket and pulled out the “stolen” wallet. I checked the wallet for its contents and what I didn’t tell you is that Josiah had $51 cash that his grandpa had given him earlier that week. I examined it closely and everything including the money was still in the wallet. I smiled at the man and said “thank you so much” and called for Josiah. By this time Amy and Mariah were standing behind me in disbelief. Josiah came an reached to shake the man’s hand and say thanks.
“What’s your name?” I asked, “and do you need anything?” We had already discussed as a family what we would do.
He said, “My name is Robbie, I’m the poorest man in town.”
I looked back at Amy and the kids, reached in the wallet and gave the man the $51 and said thank you once again. Robbie was surprised, smiled, turned, and walked away.
Our encounter with Robbie changed our entire outlook on Thanksgiving Day. It will me a moment that will be imprinted on our minds and hearts forever. I personally had been robbed of my joy the night before, but a sincere, honest, homeless man had restored it by bringing back that which was lost! Sounds like someone else I know!
This was our All-Time Thanksgiving moment.
Did you have any memorable Thanksgiving moments over the weekend? If you like what you read hear at The Backseat Leader Blog, please share it with a friend, ‘LIKE’ my Facebook page or leave a comment. Would love to hear you thoughts on this personal story of ours. Have a great Monday!