A Celebration Story by Violet Nesdoly

It’s gone missing!

It was 12:25 p.m. on Tuesday, August 16, when we left the rest stop on Highway 97 to continue traveling south toward Prince George. We were on our way home from Dawson Creek, B.C. after spending three weeks with our daughter’s family. The picnic table we’d found, hidden from the road by trees and within sight of a pretty little river, had been the perfect place to eat our lunch.

Half an hour down the road I reached for my camera to take a picture of trees that were already starting to yellow this mid-August. But my camera wasn’t there! I scrambled around, searching the front seat, under the seat, in my handbag. Nothing! Hubby stopped the car and we looked in the trunk, the cooler, the car door cubbies—everywhere.

“I must have left it at the stop. Can we please go back?” I begged.

We begin the search.

The 30-minute drive retracing the kilometers to our lunch stop was the longest part of the trip. When we got there, I dashed to the picnic table, but hidden though it was, there was nothing. My heart fell. I’d had my Canon Powershot with its 40x zoom lens for only two and a half months and really liked it. Plus, there were photos on the camera card I’d never downloaded. Trouble was, the camera wasn’t labeled with my name and address. It would be nearly impossible to trace it back to me. What to do?

We stopped at the RCMP office in Prince George and reported the loss (I did have the camera’s serial number, so gave them that). The kind receptionist even got a person on the line from the Ministry of Transportation, who said she’d ask the rest stop cleaner if he’d found anything. And we prayed. So did my little grandkids. When I messaged my daughter about the loss, she replied, “The kids are very upset. We’re praying it shows up.”

I slept restlessly in our Williams Lake motel that night. Every time I thought of the missing camera, I reined in my disappointed, I-can-just-imagine-what-someone-is-doing-with-their-new-finders-keepers-camera thoughts to thoughts of praise. “God, You’re in this. I praise You for what’s happening here, even though I don’t understand. And I prayed for people who had lost things what really matters: a son to drugs, a daughter to cancer, a husband to dementia …”

After we arrived home the next day, I contacted the Ministry lady. She had talked to the cleaner, but he had found nothing. I had to face it; my camera was probably gone forever.

It could only be God’s doing.

About 15 minutes later, I heard the ping of an incoming email. The subject was “camera.” It was from our church’s secretary, forwarding a note from a lady who had found a camera. She had somehow traced the pictures to our church and even attached a photo of hubby and me as the possible owners. The camera was found!

I later discovered it was picked up by a couple from Vernon on their way to visit their son and his family in Dawson Creek. They’d waited for a while to see if someone would return for it, then decided to carry on, praying they would be able to find its owner. The man delivered the camera to my daughter’s home in Dawson Creek on Thursday, August 18. Can you imagine the effect on the faith of four youngsters who had just prayed that Grandma’s camera would be found?

Jesus tells stories about lost things (Luke 15). There is always a celebration when the lost is found. For me this lost and found celebration was first about God showing up, demonstrating He heard our prayers and cared enough about the thing that mattered to us to engineer, in a way I could never have imagined, this chain of events. And, of course, it was the joy of knowing I’d be getting back the thing I lost.

What does this have to do with writing?

Nothing—and everything!

It demonstrates that God is in the smallest details. He is a master at finding things. He can connect us with the ideas, information, and publishing venues we need. He can help others find words of ours that will speak into their situations. Having Him with us is a celebration of relinquishment, relief, hope, and joy because we’re in the hands of a God who can orchestrate what we never could and bless a slew of folks in the process.

Violet Nesdoly (med)Violet Nesdoly uses fiction, nonfiction, meditations, and poetry to do what she is passionate about, bringing the Bible to life. Her debut novel Destiny’s Hands, a Bible fiction, was a finalist in The Word Awards 2013. She blogs book reviews at violetnesdoly.com/blog and poetry at violetnesdoly.com/poetry

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