First, brothers and sisters, I want to share a passage with you from the Message version of the Bible.
Luke 15:8-10The Message (MSG)
The Story of the Lost Coin
8-10 “Or imagine a woman who has ten coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and scour the house, looking in every nook and cranny until she finds it? And when she finds it you can be sure she’ll call her friends and neighbors: ‘Celebrate with me! I found my lost coin!’ Count on it—that’s the kind of party God’s angels throw every time one lost soul turns to God.”
After our plane landed we made it through customs just fine, and soon found Brooke waiting for us outside. We said our hellos and she proceeded to lead us to the bus that would take us from Cancun to the ferry, which would then take us to Cozumel. All the way toward the bus stop, taxi drivers pleaded for our business, and one of them got Brooke's attention. She talked to him awhile (although she says she can't speak the language) and told us he had a better offer. So we got in the van-taxi with our luggage and away we went. When we got within walking distance of the ferry, the driver pulled up and we climbed out. I was being very careful to get all my stuff, since Cliff was certain I'd lose something. He had, in fact, instructed Kevin to look after me. Kevin and I were in the back seat. He got out on the passenger side and stood waiting for me to slide over and get out. I picked up my purse and carry-on bag, laid my suitcase in the seat, and glanced down to see if I was forgetting anything. Nope, the only thing I noticed was Kevin's backpack on the floor against the door at my left. Keep that little detail in mind.
We had more luggage than you would think, because Rachel and Kevin took a bed with them. It was a fold-up bed with an air mattress; the whole works went into a bag and weighed fifty pounds, so it counted as checked baggage. Kevin has bad knees and a not-so-great shoulder, and wouldn't have had much fun getting up and down off the floor to sleep on an air mattress. So here we have three people toting five checked bags, two backpacks, and my carry-on bag, not to mention my purse. We were two or three blocks away from the van we rode in on when Kevin stopped in his tracks and said, "Rachel... do you have my backpack?"
She didn't, and they started scrambling to look for it. That's when I remembered it had been on the floor at my feet, and began kicking myself for being so self-centered as to not hand it to Kevin before I got out. Brooke and Kevin turned back, hurrying in hopes the taxi would still be there. Rachel and I waited with the pile of luggage. It wasn't long before they came back, looking very gloomy. The taxi was gone. Now what happened beyond this point, I'm not sure of. Brooke pointed to a nice little park, sort of like a town square, and suggested Rachel and I wait there. She was going to get a ride back to the airport and see if she find our cab driver. I don't even recall if Kevin went with her. For a long time it was just Rachel and me sitting there, then later Kevin joined us. Rachel asked him exactly what was in the backpack, and it was pretty much everything you have to have: prescription meds, passport, and some extra money. And this was Mexico. Everybody's heard the stories, right?
We did have something to distract us, although we were too concerned to enjoy it much.
These guys marched around the pole while one of them played a flute. Then they climbed to the top of the pole.
And then they went round and round.
The first three times we watched this, it was interesting. Every time one of them passed the hat at the end, one of us tried to toss in some change. After two or three hours, though, we lost interest in the whole proceeding and went back to our grieving process.
While going through my pictures after I got home, I saw I had unwittingly captured a portrait of two people who were about as low as anyone can get.
At some point Kevin joined Brooke again, the taxi-driver drove up with a huge smile on his face, Kevin had his backpack, and nothing was missing. Kevin gave the driver a generous tip, and our vacation was saved from ruin. The lost was found, and I, for one, felt like partying like those angels do over a lost soul.
By the time we got on the ferry it was dark and we were hungry, but happy. What a way to start a vacation!