"Honey, I can't find my key fob for the truck! Get the flashlight."
With a sigh. She grabbed the flashlight and went in search . . . again for his key fob for his truck. The loop that kept it on the key ring had broken and he carried it in his pocket these days. It seemed that every time he pulled things out of his pockets, he lost the key fob. So, after a quick glance on the bed side table, and a few other places he tended to leave his "pocket things" she went outside to search the area where he parked his truck.
Scouring the area around the truck, under the truck, from the truck to the house . . . they had no luck in finding the fob. Frustrated, tired, and cold, they gave up. He had a remote-less entry as well, he would just have to use it.
"Honey, would you look again after it gets daylight?"
Sigh . . . of course . . . she loved kicking around in the gravel in the cold.
Life went on. They adjusted to not having the key fob to unlock the truck. Although puzzled about it, they didn't worry about it. Probably someone had driven over it, smashed it, then threw it in the trash, or at least so they hoped.
Almost a year later she was at the church for board meeting.
"Do I remember you telling me about a lost key fob?" asked one of the board members.
"Yes, the truck key fob broke off the key ring and we never found it."
"Is this is?" he asked pulling a key fob out of his pocket.
"Where in the world did you find it? It looks no worse for the wear."
"You know that tree I took down because the upper half was dead? I was working up the wood and this fell out of a big hollow limb I was splitting from the top of the tree."
"The key fob was in a hollow limb of a tree? Squirrel! That ornery squirrel that lived in the wall of the house. When we finally got it out and covered the hole, it must have denned in the hollow tree."
Later that night, she called her husband . . . "Honey, you know that tree you park under most of the time? Guess what they found when they split the wood . . . surprise . . . your key fob."
"Squirrel! That blasted squirrel must have seen me drop the fob. I started looking just minutes after I realized it wasn't in my pocket."
"Well . . . God provides . . . but that must have been a nut too hard to crack. I guess God had a little surprise for the squirrel too."
There are times when we have unexpected blessings . . . finding something we had lost . . . a gift from a friend . . . or a simple word of thanks. God knows when we are down and need a boost . . . a God cares. There are times, though, that the gift comes through a thought, nature, the beauty around us, and sometimes through another being.
We can be the surprise that God desires for someone else. Our compassion, grace, willingness may ease their pain, bring them comfort, or maybe even challenge them to change. God truly loves us. The surprise is the blessings when we let God's love into our lives.
God of humor and surprise, open our minds and hearts to fill the gaps in someone else's life. Teach us not to hoard what we see that another has but rather to share the generosity you bestow in our lives. So be it. Amen.