A couple of weeks ago, I took a friend to a hospital in Pittsburgh. Some people just don’t like to drive in Pittsburgh. It used to strike dread into my heart, too, but not anymore—not when I have Siri to navigate the highways and bi-ways for me. So our trip down was uneventful.
We parked my car in the parking garage and, as we got out, I took careful notice that we were on level 4, so we would know where to get off the elevator when we returned.
As we got inside, my friend went to the 12th floor to visit her husband and I set up camp in the waiting room on the ground floor. I got some lunch in the cafeteria, read some back issues of the newspaper and enjoyed a cup of cappuccino. A couple of hours later my friend returned from her visit and was ready to start home.
We took the elevator to the 4th floor and disembarked, eagerly anticipating getting into the car and starting home. So we went to the location where we expected to find the car. We did not see it. Well, we walked all around level 4 until we ended up on level 5. We did not see the car. We retraced our steps and found ourselves on level 3. Still we did not see the car. We were mystified! How could we have missed it!
When my husband and I bought the car several years ago, I stipulated that it should be a distinct color, so it would be easy to find in parking lots among all of the gray cars and white cars that dominate every parking lot. So, we got a vibrant, royal blue car. I do still have a bit of challenge finding it, though, because it is small and tends to hide behind full size ones. I thought that might be what the trouble was that we weren’t finding it now.
We walked slowly and I scrutinized every car and license plate on all three levels that I had already scrutinized—at least three times! I was beginning to think someone had stolen it. How that could have happened was beyond my reasoning ability, but it did cross my mind. How else could it elude me?
We walked all of the way to the top of the parking garage; still no car. As we came back down, I exclaimed to God, “Lordy, Lordy, Lordy. I need help! I can’t find my car.” Then I asked St. Anthony to help me find it. He has always been faithful in helping me find lost items. My friend and I decided to walk all of the way to the bottom of the parking garage and walk the route that I had taken with the car.
We got to the 4th level and there it was . . . right where I had left it. How I missed seeing it before is beyond my reasoning ability. Nevertheless, we hopped in and started on our way home. I checked the time and discovered we had spent 30 minutes in search of the car.
And then I wondered why God waited so long to find the car for me. Maybe, we needed the exercise. Or, maybe, I should have for His help sooner.