Saturday morning I found myself in the middle of the Concourse. Looking into trashcans. In the rain.
What am I doing here?, I asked myself as I cautiously eyed a homeless man doing the same thing on the opposite side. Great, now, he thinks he has competition.
God brought me there.
The night before the place was teeming with freshly minted high school graduates and their proud parents. Leis of orchids. Balloons. A sea of purple robes amidst flashing lightbulbs.
We made it through the graduation ceremony. Pomp and Circumstance (I cried). His speech (I was nervous). The commencement speaker asked the boys to thank their parents. Son looked back, I caught his eye and we both smiled (I cried, yet again). I love my son and the connection we have.
When it was all over, he had to seek all his friends. He gave me the cards that were given to him from the time they exited to when we finally found him. Forty-five minutes it took to say goodbye to everyone.
When we got home, he opened the cards he received. But one was missing. He was sure that his grade school principal handed him an envelope. We could not find it. He also lost the "2009" pin from his tassel.
Which led me to Saturday morning. God put it in my heart to go back and look for the envelope and the pin.
Um, really, Lord? We have to get ready for his graduation party at 2:00 p.m. You want me to drive all the way downtown to look for an envelope and a pin?
How do you know when it's God and when you are just sleep deprived?
So I went. Found a parking meter and put my quarter in. It gave me 12 minutes.
I saw remnants of purple orchids, little pieces of paper, a new sweater (I know it's new because the tag from Ross was still there), lots of Starbucks cups but I did not find the envelope, nor the pin. I did find a brand new book on Quantum Mechanics on top of the trashcan. I took that with me thinking someone must have left it behind from last night. But why were they reading during a graduation ceremony? And Quantum Mechanics of all things.
As I was walking aimlessly from trashcan to trashcan I thought of Abraham when God asked him to leave his family and go to a place where He will lead him. Did Abraham have the same questions I had? Did he feel foolish like I did? Did he have to look through trashcans?
I don't know.
I also don't know why I went there that morning.
As I was heading out to the car, I saw a homeless woman a few feet away. She was securing something in her shopping cart. Should I? I was fearful but I approached her, took the $20 from my purse, handed it to her and said "God bless you." She said "God bless you" back and I walked away.
I had a minute left in the meter.