“St. Anthony, St. Anthony, please come down
Something is lost and can’t be found”
We have a great friend, Zia. We’ve worked with her for years on various projects, and whenever we needed something that seemed to be lost, she recited this little prayer to Saint Anthony. Miraculously, it always seemed to work. Once, in fact, she located something missing in our own home because Saint Anthony told her it was on a specific shelf in the dining room cabinet. I thought it was an unlikely place, but Em encourage me to immediately go home to check it out anyway—and there it was, just like Zia said. Or just like Saint Anthony said. That experience made us believers, even though we’ve rarely used the prayer since . . . except for one particular day in France!
During Emerson’s solo sabbatical in Lyon, he experienced a sudden storm. Dark clouds gathered and thunder could be heard in the distance. He was out and about in the city and was a good 20-minute hike back to the apartment. He was walking at his usual pace, but was in no real hurry. He thought he had ample time to get back and everything was okay. Then, just as he rounded the last corner, the rain started to pour down in bucket-loads. Darting through the outside door, he made it out of the rain! Whew! What a relief! He reached into his right pocket where he always put his key and began fishing around. He felt around. Then he felt around again. Oh no! The key wasn’t there. Quickly, he checked every other pocket and possibility, but it was gone. Gone. Gone!
Since he had been sitting on a bench in the park reading, he assumed it must have fallen out of his pocket onto the ground. He quickly darted back out into the pouring rain to retrace his steps. (Of course, his umbrella was locked in the apartment.) When he got back to the park, the key was nowhere to be found. Nowhere. Nowhere!
Then he remembered dear Zia’s requests to her friend Saint Anthony. Em wondered if her poem could possibly work for him. He felt a bit uncomfortable imposing on a Saint he’d hardly spoken to before. He barely even remembered his name. But, desperate times call for desperate measures. So, as he walked, he repeated the prayer, as best he could remember. He felt relieved to know that help was on its way. Still, the pouring rain was relentless and doubts started to soak in.
Perhaps he needed a back-up plan. So he decided that he’d call the rental agent Veronique, who gave him the key in the first place. Surely she would have a second one. It was a good plan, except for the fact that her telephone number was locked in the apartment. Maybe the man down the hall knew her and would be able to call. But, other than a quick exchange of names and saying bonjour in the mornings, he really didn’t know his neighbor at all.
Fifteen minutes later, Em was dripping his way down the long hall to his neighbor’s door. He rang the bell. No one answered. After what seemed like a very long time, he heard sounds from inside the apartment. Suddenly, the door opened. He was surely just minutes away from a phone call to Veronique. But wait! The neighbor seemed happy, friendly . . . almost delighted. Because there in his extended hand was Em’s apartment key dangling in front of him. The neighbor had found it on the hallway floor where Em had inadvertently dropped it earlier that afternoon.
He had the key!!! Whether Saint Anthony had anything to do with it or not, is anybody’s guess. However . . . next time something gets lost, he’ll be more inclined to use all of his resources. Follow Zia’s lead. Out of respect, maybe a quick check-in with Anthony couldn’t hurt.
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