Last week, I went against my better judgment and allowed my 5-year-old son Jack to carry his own gift card (that he’d received on Easter morning) into Walmart. He insisted, and I regrettably let him. 20 minutes later, after he’d picked his gifts along with his siblings and put them in the shopping cart, the inevitable moment came. His card was missing. Lost it somewhere in the store. His siblings went into action and scoured every square inch of the store where we’d been. It was gone. I asked Customer Service if anything was turned in. It wasn’t. It was gone.
Tough moment for me and tough lesson for him, but I began taking his gifts out of the cart and putting them back on the shelf. I couldn’t rescue him. Oh, the tears. And his compassionate siblings, hugging and loving on him. I didn’t have the money to save the day, nor was I sure that I should even if I did. We prayed, and I told him to trust God, ignored my instincts to save him, and forced my heart to rest in God’s plan. I have what some would consider an absurdly high view of God’s sovereignty in all things, if you didn’t know. Even little 5-year-old things.
Immediately his tender-hearted siblings Esther and Reese offered to buy him some smaller gifts from the extra on their cards. He went home sad, but at least he got the $1 water balloons and the $5 push rocket he had his eyes on.
We assumed the card long gone, though I left my number with Walmart. Who wouldn’t just use a gift card if they found it lying on the ground. Wouldn’t you?
Someone didn’t. Someone kind and thoughtful, perhaps moved by the hand-scrawled “Jack” written on the face of the card, turned it in. I got a call the next day that little Jack’s prayer was answered.
What I learned:
1. God is in control and I must not attempt to rescue my children from everything. Sometimes God wants to show them something in the pain. Like the love of their siblings, the compassion of a stranger, or that He answers prayer.
2. That there is kindness in the world. We live in an age of shocking selfishness, and this benevolent act of a stranger reminds me that there are good and kind people in the world. And for that, I’m thankful.