Last week I did my normal mall walk. Sometimes it can get hot in the mall, so there are primarily two spots in the mall where people tend to take off their jackets and lay them on a table while they walk. I do the same thing, so last week I dropped my jacket at the table as normal, but when I came back around after walking the jacket was gone. Immediately I went to the security office, which is also lost and found to see if anyone had taken it there. Unfortunately, they had not.
When I realized that my jacket had been stolen, I was a little upset. Not because it was expensive because it wasn’t, it had no monetary value. The jacket was old, worn out, and kind of ratty. But it was the top to a sweat suit that I wear a lot in the winter time. My feelings were hurt, but there was nothing I could do. I had finished my walk, so I left to go to my car. Once outside I lifted my hands to the Lord, and I said “Lord, if somebody took my jacket they must really need it. I pray that they are blessed by it.“
This morning I went to the mall to walk as normal. As I walked around the mall, I had just started my last lap when I looked up, and I saw one of the cleaning ladies wearing a black jacket. I was so focused on the jacket I didn’t even see her face. I walked straight towards her looking at the jacket. As I walked, I said, “Is that a black jacket?” When she heard me, she started unzipping the jacket and said, “Is this your jacket?” Still focused on the jacket I said, “I don’t know, it looks like it.” She handed it to me. I had marked the inside of my jacket on the pocket, so I opened it up to see if it was marked. It was, and I said, “Yes, this is my jacket.” She said someone left it on the table and they turned it in. I said, “Really? I went to lost and found, and they said there wasn’t one there.” She seemed jumpy but said, “Sometimes they take them to the maid’s closet. I was wearing it because it is so cold in here; feel my hands.” I didn’t feel her hands; I was too focused on my jacket. I was smiling. This jacket was like an old friend. It comforted me. We had been through a lot. I was excited we were back together.
After getting the jacket back, I continued my walk. I got about halfway around my last lap when the Lord reminded me of the prayer I had prayed the week before. He said, “You prayed that whoever took that jacket probably needed it and that they would be blessed by it.“ I then started to replay my conversation with this lady in my head. I realized at that moment that this woman was the one who had taken the jacket, and instead of turning it into lost and found she took it to her locker. When I asked her if that was a black jacket, immediately she unzipped it and was taking it off as fast as she could. I remember she was a little fidgety and a little uncomfortable and she kept talking about how cold it was collecting trash in the mall.
Once the Lord reminded me of the prayer that I prayed I knew right then that I had to give the jacket to this woman. I walked around the mall looking up and down every hallway trying to find her. I finished my walk, so I went back to the table where I had left the jacket in the first place. This table was near the security office and the cleaning office. I sat at the table, and I prayed. I told the Lord that I wanted to give the jacket to the lady, but I didn’t know where she was. I asked him to show me where she was. I sat at the table for about 15 minutes thinking she would walk back around, but she didn’t. I felt sad and disappointed that I had missed this opportunity.
It was time to leave, and so I got up and headed to my car. When I walked outside, I looked up, and in the distance in the parking lot, I saw this woman standing outside shaking from head to toe. She was outside smoking a cigarette. She was a ways away so I took off running waving my hands so she would see me. When she saw me, I ran toward her holding my jacket at arm’s length to give it to her. She saw me and ran towards me with her arms wide open to receive it. When we met, I gave her the jacket, and I told her she could have it. Before I could finish my sentence, she was putting the jacket on. She said, “What a blessing, thank you so much!” She hugged me, and we both went our separate ways.
“When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’ Luke 15:9