Several weeks ago I took the kids to the city to meet up with Micah and have dinner and such. (We were going to see one of his co-worker’s senior projects and almost couldn’t because the building had a ban on CHILDREN. We eventually got things worked out, but seriously, people. No kids in institutions of higher learning?!?) We were waiting for the train and when it came, I was keeping an eye out to see if there was a car that looked emptier than another. The two cars that stopped right in front of us were both pretty open, but one looked a bit more open than the other, so I grabbed Oliver’s and Elsa’s hands and called for Simon to follow. We got on the train and the doors closed and I noticed that Simon wasn’t there. I thought he was messing with me, hiding right behind me or something, but no. The train hadn’t started, so I looked out on the platform to see if he hadn’t gotten on, but he wasn’t there either. And then I realized he must have gotten on the other car. I looked through the windows between cars and, sure enough, there were some people waving at me and pointing to Simon. He was fine, though we were both a little shaken by the unexpected turn of events. After the long ride between express stops, a lady in his car walked him over to our car and we were reunited
Lost, but not really.
Then a couple of weeks later we were about to head out the door to catch the train to church when I realized I didn’t have my wallet, which had my metrocard and all my ways of buying a new one. Without it, we were stuck. After much searching, I said a little prayer and immediately remembered that the last time I lost it had been a laundry day and I’d left it on the stroller, which I mostly just use for carting laundry. And sure enough, there it was. We were soon on our way.
And finally, a few days after that we were having a pretty special day. Elsa had put her hand over the steam release of the pressure cooker and slightly burned it right before we had to go get the boys. She was extremely distressed and while there was no indication of her having been burned, she would not stop crying, even after I put some ointment on it and wrapped it up, she cried and cried and cried. She didn’t stop until we were almost at the stop closest to the school, and even then, it was because she had fallen asleep. I ended up carrying sleeping Elsa in my arms while Felix was in the wrap. (It’s much more difficult than carrying sleeping Elsa while 8 months pregnant.) Did I mention it was raining? I had tried to distract her and get her to stop crying by letting her watch me play a game on my phone to no avail. After we had the boys and were back on the train heading home, I let them take turns playing the game while we waited at the stations. It wasn’t until we were almost home when Simon realized he didn’t have his rain jacket. He’d left it at another station. He had his piano lesson that day, but we still had half an hour, which I thought would be enough time to go back and look. So we went back to the station and looked on the bench where we’d been sitting. No dice. We talked to the station attendant and janitor. They clearly thought we were crazy to think that it might still be there, even if it had only been 20 minutes. So we went back down to wait for the train home. Simon started walking down the platform and got to a nearly empty bench—and there was the jacket. We’d been looking at the wrong bench before. We hopped on the next train and made it home in time for piano.
These near losses, answered prayers, unexpected turns of event, and relief at having found the missing party had me thinking about how often when we talk about answered prayers, we are talking about things we lost. Or feeling that we are lost. It seems as though there are very few categories of things we really need divine help with in life, and being lost or losing things is a major one. Just something I’ve been thinking about lately.