I break, wear out, and lose things. More than three weeks ago I lost my prescription sunglasses. I looked for them, even asking at places I might have lost them, all the while hoping the longsuffering woman with whom I live would not notice that I did not have them. However, on our Thanksgiving trip, when I had to use the wraparounds because of the brightness of the sun, she asked where my sunglasses were, and I had to admit that once again I had lost something of consequence.
My problem is highlighted by the fact that I live with a woman who is highly competent – who takes care of things, puts them in their proper place, and almost never loses anything. I know the solution to my proclivities is pretty simple. It’s what that Bob Newhart playing the psychologist said to the neurotic woman: “Stop it!” However, weaknesses of human nature do not always respond to the
Adams therapy. At my advanced age, I expect my problem with things is only going to get worse.
However, last night a remarkable thing happened. My wife, who is pretty successful at organizing everything except me, was putting medicines into one of those things with 14 compartments in which you place a week’s worth of morning and evening pills which are supposed to prolong your life. However, a thing most uncharacteristic happened, when a compartment popped open and several pills fell to the floor.
When she told me, I began to crawl around on the floor looking and feeling for pills. (I figured I would make the effort even though it is very seldom I find anything she cannot find.) Anyway, as I felt about I reached my hand under one of those pieces of furniture that we call a “secretary”. I felt something I was not expecting, peaked under, and what was there? My sunglasses. I said, “If you had not dropped those pills and said something about it, and I had not tried to find them, I would never have found my sunglasses.”
And it struck me: This must be mercy. I offered a silent prayer of thanksgiving. I am not the sort who often says the Lord has done or is doing this or that except in the sense that his providence orders all that occurs. But even this curmudgeon was struck to think that God was showing mercy to a bumbling man who loses things. I had not changed. I had not even made a resolution to change. But my sunglasses which were lost were returned to me.
Sometimes it takes a small mercy to remind one and make him believe in big mercy. Such as God in mercy sending his Son into this world to take on the misery we have created by being the mess-ups we are.