I lost my phone.
I lost my phone at church.
I lost my phone at church and no one has returned it. No one has turned it in to the church’s lost-and-found.
I had left it in the pew and forgot to retrieve it when service ended Sunday. On my trip home, I realized my carelessness, turned around and arrived back at the pew within 10 minutes.
The phone was not there.
Worse, I’d switched the device to “airplane mode” before the service, so I couldn’t track its whereabouts on my wife’s phone.
Through mid-week, my repeated visits to the church office proved fruitless. No one had turned in the phone.
Sunday’s sermon, as I recall, was about The Ten Commandments. I think No. 8 was “Thou shall not steal.”
I’m not sure whether finding an iPhone in a church pew and keeping it is a violation, but it does speak to a dreary truth about expectations.
Had I dropped the phone along Windward Parkway, I would understand. There is no Windward Parkway lost and found, and there is no list of ethics posted along the roadway.
But a church?
I get it. My fault. Finders keepers and all that jazz. I’m out some downtime and a hundred bucks. I’ve been through worse.
A replacement phone arrived Thursday, and now everything’s back to normal — almost.
Thank God — and the celestial iCloud — most of my data and contacts are still intact.
What’s not still intact, though, is my faith in whatever it is that guides us to practice what we know to be right.
I’ve never set the bar too high in that regard. I’ve had politicians lie to my face and later go to jail for corruption. I’ve interviewed murderers, witnessed hatred and survived a bar brawl in Belfast. People I’ve never met have cut me off in traffic.
On the other hand, I’ve also had virtual strangers appear out of nowhere to rescue me from a downward spiral, angels who grab the wheel of my careening life and set me straight. I admit I’ve been blessed with more than my share of encounters with these dear people whose thoughtfulness I can never repay.
I suspect that’s pretty typical for most of us: good and evil, kindness and greed — pulling up alongside in life’s blind spot.
It’s a daily match between the good guys and the bad guys, and the scoreboard is always changing. Last Sunday, the good guys played on their home field — and they lost.