Arriving at the quaint little Bed and Breakfast, we jumped off the red double-decker bus, our bags clutched tightly. Running into the beautiful brick house we found Mrs. Rose waiting. Friends in Germany had recommended that my friend and I stay with her when we stopped in London on our back-packing trip around Europe.
We told her about our exciting day visiting the wonderful sites of London. She invited us to have supper with her that night and we ran upstairs to freshen up.
While emptying our back-packs and inspecting our purchases of the day, a tingle of fear ran up my spine. “Christi!” She jumped at my shout, staring at me, waiting.
“I can’t find my wallet.” I said it hesitantly, not wanting to say the words out loud because that meant they were true.
She paused for a moment, absorbing. “Let’s look again,” she said, ever the optimist. Having already checked thoroughly twice, and ever the realist, I wasn’t hopeful. I did feel calmer though. There’s something nice about sharing a feeling of dread with a friend.
We looked again, unwrapping all my treasures. I was desperately hoping that optimism would rule the day but saw the dismay in Christi’s eyes when she looked up at me, accepting reality; my wallet, indeed, was missing.
The implications of the missing wallet were huge. The wallet was, in fact, a pouch which contained all my money, my Euro-rail train ticket, and most importantly, my passport. Possibly I could purchase another train ticket and maybe my parents could help with the money, but without a passport the trip we had just begun would end here and now. We stared at each other stunned.
Christi, once again the stabilizer, suggested, “We’ll talk to Mrs. Rose. She’ll know what we should do. Let’s pray about it first though.”
I quickly agreed to both suggestions. We sat down, each waiting for the other to begin. It was my problem so I quickly said a prayer asking God for help. Christi optimistically followed up by thanking God for taking care of us and being in control. I did feel a bit better after praying; there’s something nice about passing on a feeing of dread to a friend.
Over a lovely dinner, Mrs. Rose advised us to go to Canada House first thing in the morning to see what could be done about the passport. She suggested that we then go to the London Lost and Found to see if the pouch had been turned in. Now really, how likely is that? My mind flashed immediately to all the signs we’d seen on the big red busses and down in the tube, “Beware of pickpockets”. London was, after all, the home of the Artful Dodger and Fagan, the leader of the gang of pickpockets Oliver Twist ended up with. Realism suggested it was unlikely that someone would turn in such a treasure as my little pouch.
Arriving at Canada House the next morning, we were shocked at the long line. Surely every Canadian in London couldn’t have lost his passport. Dejectedly we took our place at the end. After awhile the man in front of us commented on the buttons we wore which said, “Jesus is the way.” Before long we asked if we could share The Four Spiritual Laws with him and right there, on the street, he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior!
This wonderful encounter cushioned the news that it would take several weeks to get a passport. None-the-less, realistically, we were somewhat dismayed. We had people waiting for us in Scotland the next day and a wonderful trip ahead.
Even my optimistic friend was a bit discouraged when we arrived at the huge London Lost and Found building. We waited impatiently as the clerk went to check for my pouch. He returned shortly and placed a little tan pouch on the counter. We were speechless! Someone had turned it in, and in London no less! Everything was there, my ticket, my passport, all my money. My faith in mankind, well, at least in the British, was restored. My faith in God was renewed. I felt ashamed at having ever doubted.
We continue to marvel at the events of that long ago day. If I had not lost my passport we would never have been outside Canada House to meet Moon and share the gospel with him. Neither realism nor optimism, but God, won the day when the lost were found.
Author’s Note: Moon came over to Mrs. Rose’s that night and we gave him a Bible and talked more deeply about his new faith. We heard from him after returning home and he was continuing in his walk with God.
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