February 2014 - My purse left at Kroger's

"I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and He gave ear to me. In the day of my trouble, I sought the Lord …Hear my prayer, O Lord, and let my cry come unto thee. Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble, incline thy ear unto me in the day when I call, answer me speedily. Be not far from me, for trouble is near; for there is none to help. O Lord, O my Strength, haste thee to help me" -- Psalms 77:l,2; l02:1,2; 22:l1,l9.

It is Friday afternoon, 2:30. I must go grocery shopping, mail some letters, and be sure to pick up a prescription. But I'm soooo sleepy! I'll just take a nap first, then do my chores.

I awaken and look at the clock. Can that be right? 6:OO? I left home at 6:50. Luckily, I live only 5 minutes from Kroger's. I'll go to the drive-thru for my prescription first, because they close at 7:00. The line is as long as it can be. No place to park to wait. I'll just go inside. I'll probably get waited on faster, anyway. No Handicap Parking available along the store front, but one just across the driveway out in the parking lot. I quickly get in a mechanical go-cart, which I always use for shopping. I cannot stand or walk more than 10 minutes on these legs. Lucky me: the prescription department is still open, and the clerk is waiting on the only customer. I'm next! I wondered if they wait on customers in all the cars in line outside at 7:00 before closing.

I was heading for the downtown post office because I had a lot of mail that I wanted to get off today! They take mail until 8:00 P.M., whereas the last pick-up in the neighborhood post office is 5:00. Before I reached the I-45 Freeway, it began a misty rain. It may get worse. Darkness is falling, and I don't see good at night. I sure can't drive at all through rain! I'll just go to the neighborhood post office. Now, these letters will go out at 7:00 A.M. because I had to nap.

I return to Krogers and am riding in a mobile cart for the handicapped through the produce department. A sign read, "$l.00 off $4.00 fruit purchases with coupon"! Coupons!! I forgot my coupons! Oh, well, I don't need much. I make a list between shoppings. And where is my list? Attached to my coupon envelope so I won't forget IT. I remember my housekeeper telling me I need to get Tide and Downey before next wash day. I have coupons for both. I'll just have to go back home. Fortunately, I live only five minutes away…and I'll save dollars!

I parked in my driveway, my car half way in the garage. I thought, "No need to take my purse in with me. I'll be right back. OK, I'll even lock my car door! No neighborhood is safe anymore. I retrieved the coupon envelope from the kitchen counter and returned to my car. As I was backing out of the driveway, I noticed a big package, barely visible from the porch light, beside the kitchen door. I wondered what it could be? Surely, it will be o.k. until I return. NO! Somebody will steal it! Nothing is safe in our world today. The 4-foot hedge blocks the view from the street. It will be o.k. Can someone see it walking along the adjacent lot to my house? I drove around the block to see. I guess I just didn't want to get out of the car, get the package, open the garage, get back in my car, close the garage! It isn't that simple now that I'm 93.

Yes, I can see just a little part of the package sticking out from the brick wall between the garage and doorway. OK. I put the package (6 boxes of toner for my copy machine) on the desk inside my garage and got back in my car. No one stole my purse while I was walking over to the doorway and taking the package into the garage -- I teased! The news every night on TV includes the many people who are robbed in their home driveways, in the parking lots, even inside restaurants and stores! It's terrible! I looked beside me on the car seat. My purse was not there. Of course not … I always put it under the seat while shopping, taking only a small coin purse and credit card inside! I ran my hand under the car seat. Nothing!

I am petrified with fear! What happened to my purse? OH, NO! When I go to Kroger's, the first thing I do is fasten my 8"x11" purse around the bottom of the mobile cart's basket, front side down. I purchased it at a medical supply store. The strap across the top comes apart in the middle with a locking device, securing it to the spokes of the basket. Then I begin piling groceries on top. This procedure began after someone stole my billfold out of my purse fastened upwardly to the side of the basket, in November of 2010. (I thought thieves were supposed to steal the whole purse--not just the billfold!). But, tonight, I left the store to return home--leaving my mobil cart (with my purse still attached to the bottom of the basket) in the parking lot. .

I never prayed so frantically, pleadingly, begging: "Lord, God, PLEASE don't let me lose my purse again! I can't go though that again! JESUS: Do you hear me? Please, Please! I just can't lose my purse again! God, save me. Please, Please! Let someone turn it in to the store."

All the stress, fears and loss of my billfold that was stolen out of my purse at Krogers just before Thanksgiving in 2010, began consuming me, even more than before. I am aware that

I must be calm. This could bring on heart-failure. I hope I can get through this safely. How could I have been so forgetful? I remembered on the left of my parked car was the curb along the driveway; on the right was a marked space for the handicap person to ride the cart and get into their car. In front, was a big space for thoughtful persons to return their empty grocery baskets instead of leaving them behind adjoining parked cars. People going into the store, and those returning their baskets could see my purse in the lone cart in the handicap space! A stranger could see and keep it. All the way back to the store, I am trembling, hyper, pleading with God; begging to help me get through this ordeal.

I arrived at Krogers. The handicap place was vacant. All carts and baskets around it were gone. I whirl into a handicap parking space beside the front door! Two young males are pushing a long line of shopping baskets down the sidewalk and into that special entrance I follow them, through the broad strips of canvas cloth on this special doorway, and inside the store. "Pardon me," I say to the two teens. "Do YOU bring in all the carts and baskets? About 20 minutes ago, I left my purse in the bottom of mine and forgot to remove it when I left. Did YOU find it?"

One of them said, "I'll see if anyone turned it in," and hurriedly ran inside the store. The other began looking through the jammed-up baskets. "No," I said. "I was in a mobile handicap riding cart." They are all parked on the other side of this front entrance. We arrived there at the same time the other boy returned with two store supervisors. One informed us that no purse had been turned in. She pointed to the boy beside me, "Isn't it your job to bring in the motor carts?"

"Yes. I never noticed a purse. If I had of seen one, I would have turned it in."

Customers were stopping, lending an ear, wondering why four store personnel were talking to someone. What did she do? Did she steal something?

I started walking towards the other side of our group to get out of the entranceway. My eyes fell on a mobile cart in the corner, plugged into the wall to recharge the battery. I screamed:

"There it is!" as I ran over to it! My black purse still strapped to the bottom! I was so nervous I couldn't unlock the strap! The basket-retriever boy came over to help. As he handed my purse to me, I hugged him real tight! "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" I exclaimed.

I unzipped my purse. I have never replaced my stolen billfold; keep my money in an envelope! I reached inside and pulled out a $20-bill, handing it to him. "This is for your honesty. I would have lost all my money, credit cards, driver's license, everything! God bless you!" And I hugged him again. I got in a cart to do my shopping, I wished I could go home and go to bed! My body would take a while to calm down, to be "normal" again after this frightening ordeal.

I passed the prescription department on my way to the health foods. They were still open! OH! This is Friday -- not Saturday, the day they close at 7:00! Days are so much alike when I stay home alone all the time! I can't decide what day it is. I have to look at the newspaper.

If this is the beginning of being 93, what will the last month be like? Pray for me! God gives me an adventure to write about every month. They always amaze me in that I can see Him revealing Himself in guiding my life. I can feel His presence with me, every day. God is real! He is behind the scenes, working on our difficulties.

God gave us His only Son to come to earth and teach us about His Father. We are so loved, so valued, by Jesus that He was willing to die for us, bearing the punishment for all our sins, if we only believe. His presence in my life is like sunshine that lifts my spirits high, when I am at my lowest. Jesus promised, "He that believeth on me hath everlasting life" (John 6:47).

TILLIE WIER, inspirational writer and employee of Logos Ranch, LLC shares her adventures with God so that others may see Him in their everyday lives.

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