It’s 3:05p.m. and I’m sitting on the second level of a Megabus on its way to Montreal. Technically, I was supposed to be aboard this bus yesterday, but an hour before my bus was supposed to leave, my bag got stolen and everything in it.
It’s the sort of thing you expect to happen to someone else, really. I mean, how normal could you get. My family and I were eating Korean food for lunch, discussing the morning’s sermon, packing up leftover bulgogi.
Dad couldn’t resist buying a bag of plump chestnuts at the opposite grocery store. Mom gestured to him to hurry up so I wouldn’t miss my bus. He smiled cheekily, breaking into a slight jog across the street as the traffic light turned green.
I can’t remember the exact words Mom said. All I do remember was that sinking feeling, then the broken glass from the car window – shards of transparent green.
The empty car seat where my bag used to be.
We stood paralyzed, shards of green around our feet. My mind was stuck, like a gear that would not shift, between trying to recall the items I had in my bag one by one and blaming myself for having left the bag in the back.
But, it was done. And I was left feeling strangely violated, having to pick up the shards left in the wake of this one desperate man’s decision to smash, grab and run.
We drove most of the way back home in silence, me curled up in the back holding down the shirt we had secured to the gaping window hole as it flapped in the wind, doing little to keep the freezing wind out.
I thought of the piece I had just written on living minimally and never lacking, and how having less makes us grow stronger, more humbled. Oh, the irony.
I was feeling sad when we got home. Not a gut-wrenching sobbing kind of sad, or even an outraged-at-my-loss sad.
Just the kind of sad you get when you’re four and lost in the shopping mall.
You know Mom’s out there somewhere, but all you can see are rows of canned tomatoes. No Mom. And you can’t do much to find her, so it seems like the best thing to do would be to stay put and let her find you.
So that’s what I did. Got myself a bowl of chocolate Haagan Daaz ice cream, cuddled up with my parents on the dark blue couch and watched videos from when I was young. I watched as the awkward pre-teen on the screen, with the centre-part and pigtails, made me laugh with her over-exuberant gestures, her re-telling of the big moment of the day.
And as the big moments of my life were smushed together in fast-forwarded form, I was reminded of time and time again when He found me.
I was lonely – and He found me. I was insecure – and He found me. And he would find me again.
It’s a powerful thing, this remembering. I believe it’s what David did, each time he found himself in a cave running for his life. He remembered the goodness of God. Perhaps it’s what saved his life, made him keep on going.
Those stories of when he fought the bear to protect his sheep and the Lord delivered him. So, David knew He would do it again.
I know it’s not much in the grand scheme of things. This lost, slightly-overwhelmed feeling will go away. But, in the meantime, as I sit on this uncomfortable seat on the top level of this Megabus and try to find a good position for my cramped legs, I am letting God find me here.
He softly reminds me of what I already know to be true: