We'd been in Toronto only a few days, having moved out of our Chicago home weeks earlier. We made it to church that first Sunday, the girls and I staying late for a luncheon hosted by the church. We'd take the subway home.
At what point was it that I realized I had no purse? No wallet, no cell phone, no money. And aside from the one recognizable face at the luncheon, I knew no one.
Prayers. God, if you could just somehow help someone miraculously discern that we need subway fare, that would be AMAZING.
Because really, what was I going to say? "Hi, my name is Jen, I'm here with my two young daughters. I have no money, no phone, no means for getting home. Help?"
And you know that's exactly what I had to do. There was no divine rescue from my idiocy, no miraculous, "Hey, you look like you need ten bucks," and yes, I did have to ask that one recognizable face for money when the only thing I knew was her name.
And maybe this is just a picture of where God wants me every day. With empty pockets. Stripped of the illusion that I can pay my own fare. Desperate for help. Asking because there's simply no other way.
One of the best stories Jesus ever told was the story of the Prodigal Son. Jesus was a masterful storyteller. He knew the power of a great story to capture our imagination and to reveal surprising truths about ourselves and God.
Stay tuned for what the story of the Prodigal Son teaches us about spare change and empty pockets.