Sunday, July 15, 2007

Candid Camera

Romans 1: 7a To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: (NIV)

I’ve written several times about St. Jude, the Roman Catholic patron saint of lost items and hopeless causes. My mother taught me to pray to him if I needed to find my keys. Over the years, despite being a Presbyterian pastor, when I get exasperated looking for something I’ve lost, I hear my mother’s words and say a silent prayer to St. Jude. Within a short period of time, I’ve always found what I’ve lost.

Well, at least that was the case until last weekend. My eldest daughter Lynsey was moving to Blacksburg, Virginia to begin her graduate course at Virginia Tech. The town is beautiful and the college buildings are exceptional. It all looks Ivy League to me.

I wanted to take some photos of the town, so I took my digital camera with me (if you want to see some of my past photographs, check out my photos, cartoons and drawings at ). So, I drove the U-Haul truck to Blacksburg on Saturday morning with all of Lynsey’s furniture.

Evelyn, Lauren, Lynsey and I unpacked the furniture and set up Lynsey’s new apartment. In the middle of the afternoon, we were finished and so we decided to visit downtown Blacksburg. It was then that I sadly discovered my digital camera was missing. We hunted all over the apartment, in cupboards, boxes, purses and even the garbage bags.

I drove back to U-haul and asked if they found a camera in the truck. They hadn’t. I looked over the grounds outside of Lynsey’s apartment and even the parking lot, but the camera was nowhere to be seen or found. That’s when I started to pray to good old St. Jude, but this time it didn’t seem to work.

Glum would describe my mood for the rest of the weekend. Blacksburg was beautiful, but I was carrying my own shadow around with me. Even during worship at Northside church on Sunday morning, I couldn’t stop thinking about the camera, so when it came to the offering, I said a prayer inside of myself like this: “Lord, I give my camera to whoever has found it. May he or she enjoy using it just as much as I have done. Amen.”

St. Jude had obviously missed an opportunity to make a Presbyterian pastor happy, so I just put it down to good old Presbyterian predestination. St. Jude had greatly disappointed me, so the Calvinist within me took over. Praying to the saints is not something that Presbyterians, especially pastors, should be doing. In my mind’s eye, I could see John Knox sternly rebuking me for asking St. Jude to intercede. I felt ashamed.

And then on Wednesday morning, the U-Haul guy in Blacksburg called me to say that he had found the camera hanging under the seat of the truck. Good, old St. Jude had come through! Maybe I’m a Calvinistic Catholic after all!

All together now!...“Oh, when the saints, go marching in…”

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the saints of old and for their past ministries. We know that You alone intercede on our behalf for our salvation. Thank You for saving lost souls and for the work of the saints in Your earthly church that goes on throughout the world today. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

Stushie writes the devotional blog "Heaven's Highway."


Anonymous said...

Have you ever heard the proverb:
"As a dog that returneth to his vomit, So is a fool that repeateth his folly" (26:11)

Anonymous said...

I think the saint who helps you find things is St. Anthony not St. Jude.

Stushie said...

St. Jude is the patron saint of lost for the proverb, I guess you would know...