Chris walked into our café and sat on the couch next to me.
Already, this was odd. Chris is one of the most closed-off people I’ve ever met and usually wants to be left alone. He’s even yelled at people for offering him a cigarette.
He also suffers from paranoia. We aren’t sure, but we think the paranoia comes from his addiction to synthetic marijuana, or “spice.” He hears voices and sometimes accuses us of calling him terrible names and making fun of him.
We don’t do this, of course. But his constant accusations have alienated him from everyone, including his own family.
So usually Chris comes into the café, finds a quiet corner of the room, and falls asleep on a couch. If he doesn’t sleep, he stares at the wall like a zombie and mumbles to himself.
But like I said, Chris sat down next to me.
He was wide-eyed and full of energy.
“Preston, you’ll never guess what happened to me,” he said.
He was right. I couldn’t guess what had happened to him. So I let him tell his story.
“I was walking down Main Street and I found a driver’s license.”
“Cool,” I said, not knowing how to respond.
“It doesn’t end there,” he continued. “I kept walking, and I found a credit card. And the credit card had the same name as the driver’s license.”
“That’s odd,” I said.
“I know, right?” He went on, “My first thought was somebody’s been robbed. But as I kept walking, I met a girl. And it hit me… this is the same girl whose picture is on this driver’s license!”
“So what did you do?” I asked.
“I asked her her name,” he said. “And it matched the ID. So I gave the ID and credit card back to her. She was grateful and thanked me over and over again.”
“That’s awesome, Chris,” I said.
“Isn’t that crazy?” He kept going, “I know that if I hadn’t run into her, I would have been tempted to steal that credit card. Then who knows what would have happened? I could be in jail. But instead, I ran into that girl.”
“That’s really cool,” I kept encouraging Chris.
He was silent for moment then said, “So, What do you think that means?”
What a good question.
In the bible, Jesus tells us to consider simple things, which really means to observe thoughtfully. For example, he says to “consider the lilies of the field.” (Luke 12:27, ESV). He doesn’t say this because he thinks flowers are pretty. He says it because flowers can teach us something about God.
So Chris experienced something. He found and returned someone’s credit card.
He could have just left it at that.
But he asked the question, “What does this mean?”
I told him I thought God was looking out for him, and he agreed. In fact, the idea made him glad and gave him a fair amount of peace.
God cared enough for him to provide a way out of temptation.
And now, if Chris ever wonders if God loves him, I can say, “Chris, consider the credit card.”