“What a fantastic walk I had today,” I told my co-worker, sticking my hand in my pocket to remove my drivers licence. I’d put it there before leaving on my noon break so I could legally drive to the nature trail’s head. No licence met my fingers. My heart sank, realizing the extra expense and inconvenience ahead.
“Go back and look for it,” Judy said, when I told her. “Right now, before someone picks it up.”
“Oh, Jude. It could be anywhere. I wandered off the path several times. I’d never find it.”
“Any idea where you dropped it?”
“On the last half of the trail,” I said, recalling when I’d last checked my pocket. “If I had my bike, I’d go back.” But home was twenty minutes away.
The office door slammed behind my sweet co-worker. I barely had time to wonder where she was going before she was back. She’d made a quick trip home, just a few blocks from the office. “I stuck a bike in my trunk,” she said, tossing me her keys. “Go.”
Obviously belonging to one of Judy’s grandchildren, my chariot felt far too small. Nevertheless, it carried me faster than I could walk. I re-traced my steps. Pedalled in and out of the botanical garden. Wound through the arboretum. Nothing.
I headed for the longest straight stretch I’d walked, about a quarter mile of clear flat space, native grasses on both sides. No intersections, no turns. I seemed entirely alone. Good thing, I thought. I must look like a bullfrog riding a grasshopper. To keep my balance, I had to weave like a proverbial drunken sailor.
A lost licence is a small trouble, but in my case, my own fault. I chided myself for not securing it better. “Lord,” I prayed, as I have so often. “You know exactly where my driver’s licence is. Would you please help me find it?” Even when our troubles are small, I’ve learned, Jesus cares.
A hundred yards ahead or so, I noticed another biker travelling in the same direction. How odd, I thought. He wasn’t on this stretch when I’d entered it. Suddenly he stopped, balanced on his right leg and leaned low to touch something. I couldn’t see what. I imagined a sticky chain or tangled pant leg. After a quick glace backwards, he straightened and carried on.
I kept pedalling, scanning the path. When I passed the spot where the other biker had stopped, I slowed, paying even closer attention to the trail’s edge, wondering what had made him pause. There lay my licence. I whooped, braked and picked it up, glancing ahead to see if I could catch up to the other cyclist, hoping to thank him for bringing my attention to the spot.
The trail was empty. He’d disappeared as suddenly as he had appeared.
God cares about every little detail of our lives. And yes, he often works in mysterious ways. Thanks, Lord. And you too, Judy.