Lost in New York City

Pastor Mark Hopper is from the Evangelical Free Church of Diamond Bar, 3255 S. Diamond Bar Blvd. Sunday Services are 9 am and 10:45 am. For more information, call (909) 594-7604 or visit Efreedb.org.

By Mark Hopper

     Recently, my wife and I had the opportunity to travel to New York City.  I had been there 30 years ago on a trip with my father and my wife had been there about 20 years ago with two girl friends. But, we had never been in New York City together.

     We had a great time seeing the sights and enjoying things together.  We stayed at a small hotel near Times Square.  It was fun to see the huge billboards illuminated at night and amazing to see the large crowds of people filling the area.

     We went to see two Broadway shows while wewere in New York. We were able to walk from our hotel to the theaters.  We saw the Carol King musical “Beautiful” and the Disney musical “Aladdin”. We really enjoyed both of them.

     We rode the “Hop on – Hop off” bus tour around the city.  This enabled us to get off at some specific locations we wanted to see.  The tour also allowed us to hear a lot about the history and highlights of Manhattan.  We went to the top of the Empire State Building and we also visited the “9-11 Memorial”.  We actually saw the name of James Hopper listed as one of those who died when the Twin Towers collapsed.  We don’t know who this was but the name caught our attention.

     There is so much more we could have done and seen, but we really enjoyed our short visit to New York City.  However, we did get lost a few times as we walked through different parts of town.  We had to stop and ask for help several times trying to navigate our way around the city.  People were very helpful.

     One night before we went to a Broadway show,we went to a nice restaurant near the theater.  My wife’s cousin lives in Long Island and she was able to drive into the city and join us for dinner and the show.  The restaurant was packed.  Thankfully, we had reservations and were seated right away.  The food was great and we were glad to spend time with her cousin.  After dinner, we walked right across the street to the theater.  

     After the show, we went back to the restaurant to pick up our “left overs” that they kept in their frig for us.  We walked her cousin back to her car and then walked through Times Square back to our hotel.

     The next day after our the tour of Manhattan and decided to try to get last minute tickets to another Broadway show.  We stood in line at the box office and were glad that there were tickets for a show that night.  However, when I went to pay for our purchase, I discovered that my Visa credit card was missing!  Where was my credit card?  It was lost in New York!

 I shared in my last article that my wife and I enjoyed a memorable trip to New York City.  We went to the top of the Empire State Building and visited the 9-11 Memorial.  We also enjoyed two Broadway shows.  But, my credit card got lost!  I had all my other cards, but the Visa card was gone.

     We were able to purchase the theater tickets with another credit card, but now the search began.  Where was my credit card?  We had made several purchases during the day but most of those were with cash.  We tried to think back to where we had been during the past 24 hours.  Should we call the credit card company and report the lost card?  What should we do?  Where could it be? It was lost in New York!

     I knew that one place I had used the credit card was at dinner last night before the show.  I called the restaurant to see if I had left it there.  They took my name and information and said they would call back if they found anything.  It was clear that they were very busy.  I decided to walk from our hotel to the restaurant to talk with someone personally.  One of the employees said this happens a lot and she went to check in the office to see if my card was there.

     I held my breath and said a short prayer hoping that had my credit card. After several minutes, the employee came back with my credit card in hand!  She asked for my ID to make sure I really was the owner and then gave the card back to me.  I must have left the card on our table when I was signing for the check and packing up our left over food as we were leaving for the show.

     We were scheduled to leave New York the next morning.  We might have never recovered the card if I had not walked back to the restaurant that night.  What a relief!  I was so thankful to find my lost card.  My wife said that she was thankful that I was the one who lost it and not her!  We celebrated by sharing a slice of New York Cheese Cake!

     There is a parable in the Bible that talks about a woman who lost a valuable coin in Luke chapter 15.  She had nine other coins, but searched her house for the one that was missing.  When she finally found it, she  invited her friends and neighbors to celebrate with her.  She rejoiced when she found it.  The point of this parable is that there is rejoicing in heaven when one “lost” person is “found” and comes to faith in Jesus.  

     I know that all of us have lost something -the car keys, a wallet, a  purse or even a credit card.  It sure feels good when you finally find it, especially in New York City! 

Pastor Mark Hopper is from the Evangelical Free Church of Diamond Bar, 3255 S. Diamond Bar Blvd. Sunday Services are 9 am and 10:45 am. For more information, call (909) 594-7604 or visit Efreedb.org.