Here’s a story worth telling. And remembering.
We spent the weekend at Starvation reservoir camping and boating. Despite the hurricane force winds for 48 hours and buckets full of dirt Caleb managed to scatter around the tent, we had a great time.
We of course stayed out on the lake longer than we should have and were in a rush to get back home for Father’s day dinner at my parents house.
But we were “way low on fuel, Mav” (more like coasting on fumes) so we had to stop for gas about 20 minutes from home. Mike filled up the tank while I walked around to figure out how we were going to get the boat back out of an awkward gas station driveway.
We got back on the road and headed home. After backing the boat into the driveway, I was pulling kids out of the car as cups, crumbs, clothes, and toys toppled out with them.
And then a man and a woman in a silver SUV pulled up in front of our house. I didn’t recognize them. The man got out of the car and said “Where’s your husband?” in a cheerful voice.
Mike came out from the back of the boat and the following conversation took place.
Man: “Hey. I saw you on the freeway.”
Mike: Blank stare. Thinking “oh great, I cut him off and he chased me down”.
Man: “We saw you pull out onto 800 and something flew off the top of your boat. We realized it was your wallet so we stopped. Everything went flying out everywhere, but we think we got it all back in.”
Now Mike and I were both just staring. Completely surprised by what he was saying.
Then we just kept saying “Thank you. Thank you so much” Over and over and over again.
I was honestly so surprised I didn’t even know what else to say. We certainly should have given him some cash for his trouble and asked his name and baked him some cookies and taken him for a boat ride. Something. Anything. But we just stared. And said thank you.
When Mike filled up the car, he must have set his wallet on top of the boat and forgot it there. A very uncharacteristic thing for Mike, completely normal for me.
Here’s the thing. If I’m being completely honest, and I had witnessed this happen to someone else, I would have thought “Oh man, what was that? Looked like a wallet. That super sucks” and kept driving. On a really good day I may have thought “I should probably stop and pick that up for them” but then I most likely would have come up with a dozen excuses why not to. The road is way too busy. I’ve got a sleeping kid in the back. I’m in a hurry to an appt. How would I even get it back to them? And on and on and on.
But not this man and woman. They saw Mike’s wallet. They were on a large, incredibly busy road. They must have stopped traffic. They were obviously headed somewhere. For all I know, they were headed in the opposite direction headed to a Father’s day dinner of their own.
But they stopped. And they chased down all the cards and cash they could find. And put it all back in the wallet. And found our address from Mike’s drivers license (at least I assume that’s how they found us) and DROVE THE WALLET TO OUR HOUSE and gave it all back to us.
In situations like these, I think we often say God was watching out for us. But even more accurately, these PEOPLE were watching out for us. They stopped. They gathered. They drove. And there was nothing in it for them. No reason to do it other than they obviously know WE ALL BELONG TO EACH OTHER. And God watches out for us by expecting all of us to watch out for each other. To take care of each other. To help each other. To stand by one another. And make life just a little bit more bearable.
My faith in humanity was restored a little last night. After a particularly hard week and feeling as though kindness towards one another is crumbling beneath our feet, this couple proved otherwise.
I’ll never forget what they did. It changed my heart. It restored some of my hope and faith in other people.
This wasn’t about a returned wallet. It’s just a wallet. And we could cancel the cards. Sure it’s a hassle, but not that big of a deal.
This couple obviously knows love doesn’t just say things or think things, LOVE DOES THINGS.
A seemingly small thing made a huge impact on my heart. They did what we all should do. What would this world be like if we all made a little more effort to watch out for one another?
And the best part, it all happened right in front of my kids, who were able to see first hand there are GOOD people in this world who do good things for one simple reason: we should take care of each other. It’s always the best use of time.