the BLOG of stuart mcdonald

The Lunch I’ll Never Forget
March 27, 2009, 10:04 pm
Filed under: My Life..., Stories

I know a lot of people are wondering about what exactly happened on Wednesday, so I will tell you the story, but I’m sorry to say it’s not nearly as excited as you might think.

I met my friend, Whitney, at her house to take her to the airport for a 4pm flight on Wednesday, March 25th. We had decided to grab a bite to eat before hand and since we both love soul food, decided that Busy Bee Cafe would be a perfect spot! So I loaded her luggage into the trunk and we headed downtown. On a normal day at lunch Busy Bee is a pretty hopping spot, so we were surprised to find parking the lot immediately adjacent to the building. So parked the car and headed inside to get some much needed nourishment.

It took about 20 minutes to get a table and of course it took us a few minutes to decide from all the wonderful menu options. We chowed down on the food until we had both hurt ourselves, the food was gone, and we were good and full!

As we’re walking towards the car, I see my red water bottle on the ground near the trunk of the car and I think, “That’s strange… Did I open the trunk when we went in and it accidentally fell out? No?” I was very confused, but nonetheless, I popped the trunk to place it back inside only to discover that all 4 bags gone! Both of Whitney’s bags (which is frustrating because you KNOW you take your best/cutest/fly-est (pick your term) stuff when you travel! Not to mention make-up, jewelry, hair care, etc and her new Bible to boot) along with my gym bag and computer bag… gone! Honestly, my initial reaction was to check the back seat, thinking, “Maybe I put them there instead of the trunk for some reason” Nope… They were gone. For good.

Of course, my inner Anglo kicked in and I immediately called the police. I enunciated well and calmly recalled the events that had just happened. They said the typical, “We’ll send someone right out.” Other things went on over the next hour… I updated my Facebook status and Twitter, sent texts to a few people; Whitney called her people; and we both just tried to process what REALLY just happened. I wandered around the parking lot waiting to see someone walking down a side street with one or more of our bags that I could chase down and tackle and get my stuff back from (no for real… I thought about this, AND I had on some chucks, so I was ready. And YES, I have seen too many police shows where this happens, I know.)

A gentlemen from Busy Bee and an employee did some ‘research’ and said that they’d seemed to have found the guys that stole our bags. They, of course, were loitering around looking suspicious, but then again, that’s half of the men down there (I’m not being anything but truthful… If you’ve been to Busy Bee, you know what I’m talking about) My instinct was to again, reenact some of my favorite shows from TV and use some “interrogation techniques”, get my stuff back, but logic overcame foolishness as I decided that was not a good look. Whitney agreed.

So, having no solid proof that these characters had done a thing beside look suspicious, we could do nothing once the police arrived OVER AN HOUR LATER. We found that the police were in the middle of a shift change when the incident had occurred and that’s what has caused the delay.. STILL not an excuse! The officer was nice enough, and we ran through all the procedures, I told him what happened to a ‘T’, and he in so many words said, “You’re stuff ain’t coming back.” He gave me his card with the case number and yada, yada, yada… tiny violins were playing in the background and I was just ready to get on with the day and get Whitney taken to the airport.

As we’re driving back to Whitney’s house to repack what clothes we can, I recalled something Pastor said in a message a few weeks back when he referenced Psalm 24:1, “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it.” I realized that what they stole wasn’t even ours. If the Lord owns everything that we have anyway, and we’re just stewards (yes, what an appropriate lesson to learn WITH that word) then that was HIS MacBook, HIS clothes, HIS make-up (seems strange that God would have make-up), HIS jewelry, HIS bags. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to steal from the Lord. I’m sure His “interrogation techniques” are much worse than anything Jack Bauer could come up with!

Whitney made a great point when she said, “If one person picked up that bible and might be called to Christ because of it. That alone would be worth 2000 MacBooks and 5 million wardrobes full of clothes.” And that’s absolutely right. If we had to go through all of that drama just for ONE SINGLE person to spend eternity in Heaven, I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat.

The next few hours are relatively boring as we pack another bag and run to Target for some make-up and toiletry items and drove to Hartsfield. Whitney had clearly missed her 4pm flight, but was able to get on stand-by and make an 8:50 flight. Before I go on, I must say something about Ms. Braggs: She is an incredible woman to handle herself as well as she did. Never once did I see her lose her cool beyond a few understandable tears, raise her voice, or blame anyone irrationally (or rationally for that matter). The level of respect that I have for her has absolutely been raised after Wednesday’s events. She’s also incredibly humble 😉

As I was driving to church, after dropping Whitney off from the airport, I heard the Lord say, “Pray for the people that stole from you.”

I said, “Huh?” as if I hadn’t heard Him clearly.

“You heard me”, He said. “Pray for the people who stole your stuff… Pray that I would bless them to such a degree that they would be overwhelmed and convicted because of the blessing, not because of their actions.” To hear him say that just hit me like a ton of bricks in the chest. I became so overwhelmed and thought, “You know, that’s exactly what Christ would and did do for those that persecuted and afflicted him.” I just felt such a weight that I began to weep as I prayed for them.

I arrived at church (with amazingly little traffic) and as I was parking I heard the Lord speak to me again. He said, “Give me all the money in you pocket.” Normally, I’ll be honest; I would argue a little but. But today, I had NO hesitation in saying, “You got it Lord! Anything else?” I was just at such a point where I didn’t have anything else. Had I had my checkbook, I literally would have emptied my account if He’d asked, just to show Him that He’s got whatever I need anyway!

I went into church in my own little zone, not really wanting to talk to anyone. Earlier in the day, I had remembered that we’d be singing one of my favorite songs, “God is in Control”. “How poignant” I thought to myself. You know how God LOVES to test you on the very things you say out of your mouth? He surely did that on Wednesday. I imagined Him saying, “Oh, I’m in control? Oh OK… Am I still in control now?”
Yes Lord you are STILL IN CONTROL! Maybe now more-so than ever before! My life and my ‘issues’ have not, and won’t ever negate His sovereignty.

Jeremiah 29:11 came to my mind later that night. I couldn’t get past “I know the plans…” He knows the plans, even the enemy’s plans for us; all the good and bad that we’re going to go through. Now HIS plans are to prosper us and not to harm us, but He knows it all and sees everything beforehand. He is so NOT surprised when things happen to us. When we woke up on Wednesday, he knew exactly what the day held and HE was prepared, even if we were clueless.

When I talked to my dad on Wednesday night, he said he was up at 4am praying or me without knowing why. Parents, if God says, “Pray for your kids (or anyone else for that matter)” DO IT! The Lord knew that my father would be faithful and that he could begin to cover me even before anything ever happened. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in another perilous situation, whether it was a car accident or something else and I talked to my dad and He said, “God had me praying for you today.”

As much as I’m sure it pains Him to watch us go through certain things in life, He knows exactly what he’s called us to do. He also knows the requirements on our character that we will need in order to fulfill that position. He also knows the things we have to go through in order to obtain that character in our lives.


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