Usually, I feel blessed when I find money on the ground. I found a 1965 dime the other day. Wow, I thought, I bet it was sitting there a long time! I never really thought about whose it was before it was mine. It was mine because I found it... wasn't it? I suppose that works when it's a dime. But what if it's more. When does it belong to the one who lost it? What if you found a hundred dollars? Would you try to find the owner? What if it was a thousand?
We walked to the lake yesterday, it is just around the corner from where we are staying. It was a beautiful day and many were there fishing and having a good time. We poked around a bit. Then, as we were turning to leave, we came face to face with a little white pug. He didn't bark or anything, just stood directly in front of us and stared. His master tried to get him to come but he seemed fascinated with us. Finally she apologized and picked up the little guy explaining that he was basically deaf and though he knew some signs he often chose to ignore them. We laughed and joked about selective hearing.
She looked tattered and worn and she spoke with the raspy voice of one who had smoked heavily most of her life. After picking up her little charge she planted him in the back of a very old Cadillac. The man driving the car seemed gruff and unfriendly and I felt concern for her as she settled into the front seat.
The car was in serious disrepair and it squealed loudly as it roared toward the street. We stood to watch them drive away when suddenly we noticed a pack of cigarets on the roof. We moved to alert them but it was too late. Off they roared and the pack of cigarets fell to the ground shortly after. The pack was there on the ground as we walked passed on our way back to the house. We picked it up and there stuffed into an almost full pack of cigarets was forty two dollars!
From the looks of the woman it might of been all she had in the world and I grieved for her. We listened for a long time in hopes we would hear the car returning. We went back to the lake to inquire of the others there if they knew who the woman was. None had seen her before.
We never saw or heard them return and so I have a pack of cigarets on my table with money stuffed inside. I don't want it because I know it doesn't belong to me. I suppose the only act of kindness I can offer her now is to pray. I pray that she is safe and I pray that someday I will see her again and be able to give that money back to her. I pray that the next time I see money on the ground that I will at least consider the one who lost it, no matter how small the amount.