Call me Pollyanna, but I really do believe that when life gives you lemons, you have to make lemonade; that good triumphs over evil; and, yes, where God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window.
But even those of us who prefer to look for the silver lining have their faith in humanity tested from time to time. That was my experience on a recent Wednesday evening, and I’m happy to report that my faith came away intact, maybe even slightly improved.
After a busy day at the paper, I went to the gym to work out (a positive thing to do, right?) and was looking forward to a quiet evening at home. That plan, along with my car window, was shattered. I discovered this turn of events when proceeding to the parking lot.
Someone had busted my back passenger window and grabbed my “work bag” which, unfortunately, contained my iPad. Now, before you ask yourself, “Doesn’t Kelly know the safety rules about leaving valuables in cars?” let me assure you that I do know and practice those rules. My beloved iPad was concealed in the bag, and the bag was concealed to the extent possible. I suppose I could have lugged all my belongings into the gym and put them in my locker, but at the time that seemed excessive – lesson learned!
You are probably wondering where the positive part comes in.
I went back into the gym to report the break-in, and the staff there told me that another gym member had seen the theft occur and the culprit take off, and he got a fairly good description of the vehicle. We proceeded to complete a report and call the police, and within minutes of hanging up and conveying to the gym manager that I would be contacted by an officer within the hour, a police officer walked into the gym. The person who had seen the crime and reported it the gym had also called the police.
And just for the record, another police officer called me back within minutes, unaware that one of his colleagues had already responded.
As the police officer and I were talking, my husband called to tell me that a woman had called our house and said that she had my bag. It had been tossed a couple of blocks from the gym and she had seen it and picked it up. Recognizing that there were papers inside that the owner would probably want and finding my contact information, she called. The officer said he would go talk with her and retrieve the bag, which he did.
The bag was returned to me later that evening, sans iPad, of course. If it had still been there, I think we’d be moving from the realm of faith into miracles. The iPad’s serial number was provided and reports were made, but while I may be an optimist, I am also a realist. It is highly unlikely that I will see that iPad again. But the officer indicated that he didn’t believe the woman who found the bag had anything to do with the break-in. She was just helping a stranger in a way she hoped others would help her.
The casualties of this crime were my iPad, my car window and my peaceful evening. Those were all lost. But the acts of several good people – the man who reported the break-in, giving police what they called a very good description of a rather unique vehicle; the woman who found and went to the effort of returning my bag; and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, which was very responsive in their effort to help – kept my faith in people and their desire to do the right thing intact.
And the next time I see an item that looks like it was lost, maybe even stolen and discarded, or an activity that could be suspicious, I will make sure to pay it forward by becoming involved.•