Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Lost and Found

Last week, EgyptAir flight 804 went missing en route from Paris to Cairo. The plane just left Greece airspace when it disappeared. Later, it was found that the plane had crash. But why? how? what happened? There are lots of contradicting reports and speculations, and the truth may never be found.  But one thing is sure, all 66 precious lives were lost.

Sorry I haven't written you as often as I wished. I had to take care of a lingering back pain which seemed to get worse. In April, it was diagnosed as Sciatica nerve pain and I had to take care of myself, including going to physical therapy. Delays such as these were not in my plan.

I was worried about not being able to travel to the East Coast for a family reunion. I haven't seen my siblings for two years. So I prayed everyday that I would be well enough to travel. I had to be careful with my back so I checked in my carry-on bag while James carried his. With only a short time to make the connecting flight, I was happy to walk luggage-free.

When we arrived our final destination, we slowly walked to baggage claim area. Bags were coming out at carousel #2 but we didn't see mine. We waited, and waited, and waited.

Someone said those bags on the belt were from a different flight. "... Go to that room and ask. May be your bag was moved that already."

I gave a lady my tag and she looked among those poor bags sitting in the room waiting for their owners. "No. Yours is not here. Let me check."

She worked on her computer and looked up. "Your bag did not make the connecting flight."

My heart dropped. I knew this kind of things happened to people. But why me?

She pointed left. "Go to that department to file a delayed baggage report."

I felt disappointed when I saw the line. When it was finally my turn, I had a hard time identifying my "type of bag" from the sheets of images. I wish she understood how special my bag was.

"My luggage looks like this, but not exactly. It is red. No name tag ... I only have clothes inside, but they are organized into smaller bags ..."

She handed me a receipt. As we were leaving the airport, I received an e-mail that said, "In most circumstances, United will deliver your baggage when it is located. Delivery times vary depending on location ..."

Suddenly, I remembered James' favorite line, "Unless the old is gone, the new cannot come."

I said it out loud with a grin and added, "Great. Now I can buy some new clothes" and we laughed.

Believe me, I completely forgot my lost bag when I saw my brother and his wife. They took us to lunch and back to their house to rest and wait for the arrival of our sister and her husband. I was so tired I fell asleep. I had a good nap and took a shower. Thank God that my luggage was too full and I put my small bag of underwear and socks in James' carry-on!

When I woke up, there were already two e-mails from a company that would be handling delivery of my bag on behalf of United Airlines. The first e-mail was sent one hour after we filed the claim to tell us how to track status and change personal preferences. The second e-mail was sent three hours later with these words:

"Your baggage is now out for delivery. Your driver’s name is David, you can see a photo of your driver and follow the delivery, by clicking on the link below ... If you would not like to be disturbed, we can leave your baggage without a signature. Please use the above link to access your order and update your delivery information. Simply select the ‘Waive Signature’ button and follow the quick and easy steps."

By then my sister and her husband had arrived. When my sister-in-law suggested to take me shopping for some clothes, I was happy to go. So we three women went.

Just a few minutes into shopping, James called, "Good News. Your bag is here."

Although we continue to browse a little bit, I was eager to go home. My luggage was lost, now it is found. Imagine my joy when I saw my little red bag!

I thought about Jesus' message on lost and found in Luke 15, especially these highlights:

Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ (Luke 15:6)

And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ (Luke 15:9)

For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. (Luke 15:24)

Have you lost someone or something in life that was found? If that special person or thing is yet to be found, what are you doing about it? Please write and tell me more.

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