Written by Janet Mueller - Heartland Church - Fort Wayne, IN
Illustrated by Lisa Wickham
I am usually so careful with my keys. I hate the thought of being locked out of anything…especially my car. But that dreaded thing happened one cold winter day.
I left the store with an unusually large cartful of groceries. Seeing my car in the distance and wondering if the groceries would all fit, I popped open the trunk with my remote control. Once at the car, I threw my purse in the front seat and locked the car as usual. That way, when I unloaded the groceries and returned the cart to the stall, my purse wouldn’t be advertising itself in an unlocked car. This was my well-oiled system.
Yes, all the groceries fit, and I returned my cart to the nearest stall. Then I reached my hand into my coat pocket expecting to find my car keys, but only came up with a used Kleenex. “Keys, where are my keys?” I moaned while patting myself down. Nothing. I frantically tried opening the car doors, but I had locked them! There sat my purse, all tidy and safe, smirking at me—with my keys probably inside. My mind was racing quickly. Oh, I’ll just call my husband and have him come rescue me. Again, my hands searched my coat pockets. Nothing! My phone was in my purse, too. Sigh.
I had left the trunk open, which I thought might be my salvation. Is it possible to push the backseats forward from inside the trunk? I saw a young man approaching my area and called out to him. “Young man, do you know if there is a way to gain entrance to this car from the trunk?”
Puzzled, he looked inside and responded, “I don’t think so…”
He seemed friendly enough so I asked him if I could use his phone. He happily obliged.
“Honey, I’m locked out of my car. Are you on your way home from your errands? Can you turn around and rescue me?” I sheepishly asked my husband.
“I don’t carry your car key with me. I’ll have to go home and get it,” he replied.
By now, I was angry at myself for stupidly leaving my keys in my purse and then locking them in the car. And now I had a long wait ahead of me, and I hate wasting time!
Slamming the trunk down, I marched back into the store to wait the forty-five minutes before my husband got there. The magazines did not keep my interest long, and I went back out to the store lobby to watch and wait for Larry.
Suddenly, a thought dropped into my mind: “Check your back pocket.” I had checked my front coat pockets over and over where I always put my keys. It hadn’t occurred to me to check my back jean pockets. My hand quickly flew to the right pocket, and a “Hallelujah” welled up inside me. Indeed, there were my car keys!
Feeling foolish yet triumphant, I raced back to the car to grab my phone and call my husband, “The keys are found! They were in my back pocket all along!”
On the drive home, I couldn’t help but rehearse how that thought, “Check your back pocket,” seemingly dropped out of nowhere as I “never” put anything in my back pockets. How often the key to solving a problem is right inside you or beside you! As close as your back pocket—as close as the Holy Spirit.