I have spent the last two days traveling with my mom back and forth to Zion, Illinois to visit some relatives. It is an annual “pilgrimage” that I have made for the last five years. Over the years, a pattern has emerged. We leave my house in the morning, arriving at our hotel between noon and one. The hotel, or resort, as it calls itself, is located on Lake Michigan, so there is a beach on one side of it. Surrounding the resort is a nature preserve full of trails that snake through woods, wetlands and the beach. After lunch (and in some ways to work it off) we go for a walk to explore the scenery. Since we have walked the beach and the nature preserve a couple of times (once it was closed due to recent bad storms) I wanted to walk along the road leading to the resort as it features some great landscape/wetland areas too.
We headed out, I loaded down with gear and my pedometer set. The were a bunch of thick clouds overhead, so the sun was blocked but still shining. Further on, the sky was clear so I knew the sun would come out at some point – it was just a matter of when. We walked for two kilometers before turning around and heading back since we were pressed for time. On our way back, the sun finally broke through so I reshot many of the images that I had taken on the walk out – this time with shadows and light.
We dropped it off at the front desk upon our return. The clerk stowed it in a drawer and we figured it was out of our hands whether or not it got back to the owner. Since we had to meet up with our relatives, we soon left and were gone for a number of hours. In talking about it with the relatives, it was presumed that the owner probably put it on top of her car, forgot about it and drove off. It fell off eventually in the middle of the road where I found it. My mom inquired about it upon our return to the hotel. Apparently, the owner didn’t discover it was missing until she returned home (not sure how far away that was). She drove all the way back to inquire about it, arriving at the resort just minutes after we had turned it in. Weird. But, it gets weirder.
Since we’re on the “East Coast”, we get to see the sunrise over the Lake as opposed to here at home where we’re limited to the sunset. Looking out the window minutes before the sun broke through, I saw there were some clouds in the sky which would add more to the composition. So, I quickly geared up, ran out and took some pictures.
The little camera has its own small, black leather case which features a loop with a snap to go over a belt. In my haste, I may not have snapped it securely or it popped off (which it is known to do) when I was kneeling down to take pics through the beach grass. Either way, it was missing. I tried to tell myself not to panic. It had to be here somewhere. While the wait staff was just beginning to arrive, no one could have walked off with it. So, given time, I could find it if I just retraced my steps. It’s just that the card in the camera had video and photos from Germany and while I’ve transferred them to my laptop, I still like to have the “originals”. I immediately set about retracing my steps, looking, always looking down at the ground. Now, you may think, it’s the beach, something black should stand out quite well on the sand. The problem is, there are clumps of grass, pine cones scattered about and the sand doesn’t present a smooth surface – there are many indents or dimples to it.
I thought back to the “good deed” that I had done the day before and wondered if “someone” would return what was lost to me just like I had done. Sometimes the most simplest of prayers are the most effective. Within a moment, I turned and spotted just a bit of black rising out of the sand a few yards away. Sure enough, it was my camera which had fallen into an impression in the sand. Brushing it off, I stowed it securely before returning to my room. How easy it is for us to lose things we prize so highly and how easy it is for God to restore them to us. It makes me wonder sometimes though at the cost to restore to us what we’ve lost which God holds most high.