Job 19:25,26 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
I will open with an admission. I had no idea I would be writing about today’s topic. I had gotten the inspiration to open up the New Post window, but there was absolutely nothing to write about. Then I had an out of the ordinary experience this morning that prompted me to write.
What happened today is in light effect a consequence of a staff meeting we had on Friday, June 13. At that meeting, our CEO raised up concerns about staff watching the world cup during work hours. During the general discussion that ensued, the staff agreed on setting up a TV set in the ICT Section’s waiting room for those who wished to watch the games. Staff were permitted to watch from 6am to 8:30am. Thereafter, anyone wishing to watch would need special permission from their supervisors. It was then up to us in the ICT Section to get to work by 6:00am to have the doors open and the TV set tuned in to the correct channel.
Here’s a personal fact for you. I root for Germany in the world cup. It is the most underrated world cup team and the one with the cleanest game. It’s for that reason that I have pledged my support to them.
So why am I saying this? Well, you see, I don’t have a TV set at home. And Germany’s game against Portugal was scheduled for 3:00am, Vanuatu time. I have a TV set a work though. Naturally, I decided to spend the night at work so I could watch the game at 3:00am. That’s how this “strange” encounter came about.
Now, in the process of getting ready to watch the game between Germany and Portugal, I removed my wallet from my pocket and put it on the floor. It lied there while I was screaming for joy and jumping up and down in glee at Germany’s defeat of Portugal. When the game ended around 4:30am, I forgot to retrieve the wallet and put it somewhere safe. I went into my office to update my observations of the game on Facebook.
At around 6:00am, I heard someone rattling the front door knob. I went to open the door but there was no one outside. I walked out and saw someone with a blue hoodie walking outside. (I noticed the hoodie and nothing else, and assumed that he was either a youth or a staff of Wan Smolbag Theatre.) I went back inside and left the front door open in case staff arriving early for work wanted to watch the 6:00am game. I had the foresight to leave my office door open though, but forgot to turn on the lights in the waiting room.
While in my office, the blue hooded guy walked into the waiting room and pointed at the TV screen. Assuming that he was a youth member or a staff member of Wan Smolbag Theatre, I nodded nonchalantly, determined that he would not distract me from typing my full observations on Facebook. That was my mistake! Or so, it would seem.
In hindsight, I don’t think this was a mistake. I believe it was an act of God. Having me distracted propelled the next few minutes into a series of events that have left me, even now, feeling blessed. Here is what happened thereafter.
Firstly, while I was completely preoccupied on Facebook, the hooded guy lost interest in the game and took interest in my wallet. Having determined that there was cash in it, he silently picked it up and quickly left the room. His swift movement in leaving the room, and the fact that he had not uttered a word alerted me to foul play! In a jiffy, I ran out of my office, threw a quick glance to where my wallet had been, registered an empty floor, and ran outside. The thieve had left.
I had this sudden urge to search for him and find him. What I would do to him was not entirely clear at that time, but I got this earnest desire to find him. I ran hither and yon, but didn’t glance him anywhere. Eventually, the desire to find him became clearer – it was because my food money for this week was in the wallet. Additionally, I had four cards in the wallet that would require more money to replace – money I don’t have. I didn’t feel panic or anger. There was actually a peace in me – and the realization that I had been robbed right under my nose.
I followed the path towards the back of our Youth Centre’s sports grounds and came across a staff member living in the area. I told her about what happened and she said she met the guy on her way to the store to get breakfast. She had recognized the face under the hoodie. And she would make investigations.
Less than two hours later, the wallet was back in my possession, excluding 2050VT. And that is where I believe God’s hand was in this whole experience. He knew I wouldn’t just give money to someone whom I know would misuse the money if I gave it to them. My robber, I was told, is one of the marijuana addicts in his community. If I had taken notice of him, I would have judged him on the spot and maybe even sent him out of the waiting room. But the Lord let him rob me, so that out of my selfishness, would spring a blessing to someone not favored by society.
The lesson I learned is one of unconditional giving. I’ve always had reservations about giving – especially when I suspect that my gift will be misused. But that is not how God views giving. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
That gift of everlasting life is for ALL who believe. And I thank God for teaching me that lesson in a very practical and unconventional way. And with Job, I acknowledge that “my redeemer liveth!” That Redeemer is not mine alone. He is also the redeemer of my hooded friend. I look forward to meeting him one of these days and telling him about the Gift.