When Gene got ready to get the mail Monday, he couldn't find the key. He was pretty sure I was the last one to use it, so when I got home, I started looking for it. I checked the usual "mis"places -- my purse, pockets, my car. No luck. I kept trying to think back to when I used it and what I did next, but I came up blank. I thought Gene might run across it, but that hadn't happened by Tuesday evening, so I looked everywhere again, plus a few more places. Still no key.
By Wednesday, we're both realizing if we don't find the key, we will need to contact the post office to see about getting a new one. I looked everywhere again -- and this time also went through the big recycle bin outside. No key. I wrote a note to remind Gene to call the post office on Thursday.
As I was doing some journaling before going for a rare Wednesday evening walk (choir practice was pre-empted by a youth event; the theme had to do with pirates and treasures), I wrote, among other things: "Still can't imagine where that mailbox key is, but it doesn't seem a matter for prayer -- unless finding it would glorify You (Lord)."
Then I put on my walking shorts (checking the pockets again) and shoes and headed out.
My neighbors were outside, and they mentioned they were locked out of their house. I said that sounded like something I would do and in fact had done more than once. As they waited for a locksmith, I was about to mention my latest key story. But one of their young sons interrupted, wanting me to look at the crape myrtle in their yard, next to our property. I asked what he saw. The tree was in bright bloom.
And then I noticed he had some keys on an orange ring. I asked where he got those. He said they were hanging in the tree! I said I think those are my keys! But he did not want to let me get a closer look. So I said let's go see if one opens my mailbox. We went to the mailboxes, and the first key he tried didn't go into the slot, but the other one on the ring went in. But he said it wouldn't turn. And he wouldn't let me try it.
So I suggested we go into the house and see if Gene thought these were our keys. The boys like Gene, so they were all for that.
To bring a drawn-out story to a close, Gene confirmed these were our keys, and after checking out our house and using our bathroom, the boys went with me again to the mailbox, and this time let me open it. We got out three days' worth of mail, and they took it to Gene, who let them sit in his big boat and his little boat, to their great delight.
By this time, the locksmith had opened their house. The family went on out as they had planned, and I went for my walk. (I think what happened Saturday was that I got the mail as I was preparing to walk, then put the key in my pocket, and it fell out as I headed across the yard. The neighbor told Gene he found the keys on the grass when he was mowing and hung them in the tree.)
I'm not exactly sure how this glorifies God, but I know it does, even if only as another little treasure of life and faith to share. Maybe it's as simple as a reminder that nothing is too small to take to God in prayer -- it all matters to Him. (Of course, prayer also helps when the answer doesn't include recovery of the lost item.)
I also think it's a glimpse of something greater. I am grateful.