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Miracles Still Happen


R. S. Martin
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I pulled my wallet out of my back-pack. And out jumped a lot of change and jingled onto the drugstore floor. Away it rolled into the aisles and under racks. All I could do was try to watch and memorize where it all rolled to so I would know where to look to pick it up. Now that we have one and two dollar coins, that adds up. People all around me helped pick it up and a cashier came out from behind the counter with several coins.

 

I was sure we didn't find it all so I got down on the floor to look under a rack where I knew some of it went. I found out how much cleaning gets down in a shiny DrugMart store. The floors are waxed and polished ONLY where you can see it. Lots of dust bunnies hidden out of sight. Couldn't see any coins down there and I didn't feel right to ask for a broom to sweep it up in order to better find my coins, so I gave up.

 

BUT I did find a bus transfer for exactly the time I needed. The way the bus system works in this city is probably standard throughout the Western world. Anyway, when you give a ticket upon boarding the bus, you can ask for a transfer slip. That slip is good for anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes, depending on how the driver has it set. Transfer slips allow you to change buses without having to pay each time you board.

 

I was between buses. My transfer slip was good till 4:45 pm. It was about 5:00 and I still needed a short bus ride to get home. I'd gone to Shoppers DrugMart to fiddle away time till my bus went. I had figured I'd have to use a ticket for the last leg of the journey. However, the transfer slip I found was good till 5:30. I have no idea whose it was. It was as though god had put it there to make up for the coins I lost and couldn't find.

 

Was it right for me to pick it up and use it? That's a question I really struggled with. I still don't know the answer. I only know what I did. I kept it and I used it. I should probably have asked the customers around me if someone had dropped it. I was too befuddled at the time to know for sure whether it was my slip or not. By the time I left the mall I'd collected my thoughts and realized that it wasn't mine. The other customers who had been in the store with me were all over town by that time.

 

So: Was it a miracle, co-incidence, or theft? Or none of the above? Somehow, as an exChristian I don't feel comfortable attributing it to god....What would you have done?

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Seems like a simple stroke of luck to me. But don't feel guilty. It's a "bearer instrument". Good in the hands of whoever holds it. Without some way to identify an owner, it's finders keepers. The same would be true if you had looked and found a winning lottery ticket.

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Thanks Piprus. That is what I would have said to someone else but if it's me...well, I wasn't sure. It seemed stupid not to use it. When I found it I assumed I'd dropped mine. But I realized later that the time was wrong.

 

Besides, most of the people I see using the bus are either too young to drive or too poor to own a vehicle or perhaps too new in the country to have license. (I'm not sure why I see more middle-aged dark-skinned people, esp.women, such as Muslim or Hindu on the bus.) And there was no one of that description in sight. Once in a while I see well-dressed middle-aged white people using the bus and I know a few people who do it to "save the environment," but it's extremely rare.

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The LA county buses worked that way, if they still do I couldn't say. Here though, you can't get a transfer, you have a choice between a pass, or a day pass, the day pass being good for the entire day, unlimited rides. (I know this I was without a car for 4 years.) A day pass costs the same as 3 faires, so if you are going to be needed to take 3 or more rides I'd get a day pass. If, when I went home it was still early ni the day and I knew I wasn't going back out I'd either give the pass to someone at my last stop or.... leave it somewhere, either at a stop or on the bus. I also found one once on a seat on what was my first ride on a day I would be on the bus 4 times. In short, I woldn't worry about it, especially with the time limit on it, by the time you found it on the floor chances are the person it belonged to was long gone.

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If it were a hundres dollar bill, I would have turned it in to the clerk. There was no way to find the owner of the bus pass-and he may not have needed it and deliberately discarded it.

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Purple, giving the transfer to someone else is an idea that never occurred to me. If ever I am in posession of a transfer slip that I don't need and meet a homeless person, I could give it to them to help them get to a place of shelter and food. But the chances of that happening are so extremely rare because there are no homeless people in this neighbourhood (I'm in the burbs more or less) and I need my slip to get home myself.

 

Quadeshet, yes, if I found something of that type of value I would turn it in. Once I found a key (car key? I forget exactly what it was but I considered it valuable for the owner) on a sidewalk so I turned it in to the closest business place. That happened to be a liquor store and I never go to liquor stores so I felt a bit out of place. All the same I felt I had to turn in the the item.

 

In rural areas if you found something in the ditch or on the side of the road you kept it. But on a drugstore floor? Their floors are always clean. And I didn't even see that transfer slip till I was down on my knees. And there it was--right under my nose. Like I said, it would be really easy to claim that god put it there for me and this would be evidence of god's existence. After all, it's the kind of thing fundies are always using to prove god's existence and his special care for them.

 

But the number of things I don't see that are right under my nose suggests (from a rational perspective) that just because I didn't see it before I was on my knees on the floor does not say it wasn't there. However, this is the kind of thing Guidepost stories are made of. So flooded with this kind of stories have I been at certain times in my life that I wondered if good things ever happen to nonChristians.

 

It seemed like there should be an observable and distinct cut-off between Christians and nonChristians with the Christians having all the good things in life and the nonChristians having very bleak existences with barely anything good in life. That seemed unbearably unfair and I guess I just put it out of my mind. Come to think of it, I could not see this kind of distinct difference. And now these "miracles" or "strokes of good luck" are starting to happen to me, too, even as an exChristian--and, as everyone knows, exChristians are far worse than never-been-a-Christians because the exCs "know better" whereas the others theoretically don't.

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Oh, Ruby...

It seemed like there should be an observable and distinct cut-off between Christians and nonChristians with the Christians having all the good things in life and the nonChristians having very bleak existences with barely anything good in life. That seemed unbearably unfair and I guess I just put it out of my mind. Come to think of it, I could not see this kind of distinct difference. And now these "miracles" or "strokes of good luck" are starting to happen to me, too, even as an exChristian--and, as everyone knows, exChristians are far worse than never-been-a-Christians because the exCs "know better" whereas the others theoretically don't.

It's as simple as a recipe for apple dumplings.

If you come upon a find that you cannot reasonably identify as yours, and if there is nothing wrong with claiming it as yours, and using it for your own benefit. It's a simple rule: "Claim what is yours, and if you know the claim belongs to someone else, return it to them in good will."

What is difficult to understand about that?

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Oh, Ruby...
It seemed like there should be an observable and distinct cut-off between Christians and nonChristians with the Christians having all the good things in life and the nonChristians having very bleak existences with barely anything good in life. That seemed unbearably unfair and I guess I just put it out of my mind. Come to think of it, I could not see this kind of distinct difference. And now these "miracles" or "strokes of good luck" are starting to happen to me, too, even as an exChristian--and, as everyone knows, exChristians are far worse than never-been-a-Christians because the exCs "know better" whereas the others theoretically don't.

It's as simple as a recipe for apple dumplings.

If you come upon a find that you cannot reasonably identify as yours, and if there is nothing wrong with claiming it as yours, and using it for your own benefit. It's a simple rule: "Claim what is yours, and if you know the claim belongs to someone else, return it to them in good will."

What is difficult to understand about that?

 

I don't understand what you are trying to say in this post, Piprus. I can't see the connection between the quote you pasted from one of my posts, and your post. What am I missing?

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Yeah, it's fine. Seriously, I doubt anybody would have come to claim it.

 

As for the eerily good stroke of luck, this is just a normal part of life. It happens to me all the time. Like the other day, I had lost my bus pass, and they are worth $72 each. My company gives them out for free so I can ride anywhere (and get to work) for a month, but if you lose it, you have to pay to replace it.

 

I lost mine somewhere between the stop and my building. I looked all over for it, but I was certain it was long gone. I work in the heart of downtown Seattle, there are hundreds of people who would kill for that pass. I was extremely bummed and contacted the office manager, who told me she had one pass left for the amount I needed and to cut her a check.

 

Well, it turned out I didn't have anymore checks left in my bankbook, so she wouldn't give me the pass. I had to fish for coins in order to go home and I was bummed because it was money I really didn't have to spare.

 

The next morning, my morning bus driver made an announcement that he had found a bus pass the day before and if we were missing one, to come up and tell him how much it was for and any identifying marks. I punch a hole in my passes so I can clip it to my lanyard (and the clip thingie broke, which is why it fell off and I lost it in the first place). I described it and turned out it was my pass!

 

So. I was saved $72. Was it God smiling on me? I doubt it. A lot of us just tend to get really focused on the bad things and don't notice all our good fortune in life. That, and Christians are trained to believe that if ANYTHING good happens to you, somebody up there is being "nice" to you, or otherwise it wouldn't happen. I believe it's possible that good energy can attract good fortune like that, but I really can't see any intelligent omnipotent being guiding events for such a thing. If there was a God guiding all that, why would He bother making you lose the coins or me the bus pass in the first place?

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Oh, Ruby...
It seemed like there should be an observable and distinct cut-off between Christians and nonChristians with the Christians having all the good things in life and the nonChristians having very bleak existences with barely anything good in life. That seemed unbearably unfair and I guess I just put it out of my mind. Come to think of it, I could not see this kind of distinct difference. And now these "miracles" or "strokes of good luck" are starting to happen to me, too, even as an exChristian--and, as everyone knows, exChristians are far worse than never-been-a-Christians because the exCs "know better" whereas the others theoretically don't.

It's as simple as a recipe for apple dumplings.

If you come upon a find that you cannot reasonably identify as yours, and if there is nothing wrong with claiming it as yours, and using it for your own benefit. It's a simple rule: "Claim what is yours, and if you know the claim belongs to someone else, return it to them in good will."

What is difficult to understand about that?

 

I don't understand what you are trying to say in this post, Piprus. I can't see the connection between the quote you pasted from one of my posts, and your post. What am I missing?

1. "You don't owe anybody anything that doesn't rightfully belong to them."

2. "You're not obligated to anything that you don't rightfully owe."

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