I bothered God about my daughter’s swimsuit yesterday. The one we left at the Y on Tuesday. Figured he knew about it anyway. But bothered him because my thoughts were in a wad.
Together, my daughter and I had hovered at the Y’s front desk, eager to pick up her suit. Certain it was there. The phone call returning ours had said it’d been found. And how we’d rejoiced at home. She for her swimsuit. And me in relief for the dollars it had saved.
Only there was no girls size 10 suit waiting for us behind the counter. None in this cupboard. Or that bin. Or on the pool deck. Or in the Lost and Found under the stairs. Only bewildered employees who glanced here and there before smiling weakly and shrugging. They were sorry, they said.
But no amount of sentiment produced a suit.
And so I bothered God. Told him while I slapped my heels around the track that I knew it was just a suit. And that I knew it was somewhere. Somewhere only He knew. But where it was didn’t matter anymore. I just needed help to let it go. To move on.
But in our leaving the Y, a friend spoke urgently, “if you run, you can make it to the laundry room. They’re bagging up the lost and found and hauling it away.”
I did run. Ran with three bags on my arms and two kids in my wake. And I caught the woman with the Everest peak of clothing before she hefted it by lumps into the truck’s bed. And between the two of us and latex gloves we sifted through six bags of sweaty gym shorts and left-over swim trunks. And came up shy.
Still I was grateful.
I peeled the gloves off inside out. Chucked them in the waiting trash wagon. And turned.
God was still good. I knew that.
Then her offer came. “There are still these bags,” she said.
With renewed fervor, we buried ourselves in left-behind bras and single shoes, in every size t-shirt and ball cap. Until in the second minute, I gasped at a familiar, blue swimsuit plucked from the pile with my left hand.
And I could sense in my spirit his rejoicing with me. What was lost was found! It’s found!
I did not know if we should hug. This Y employee and I. Or if we ought to know each other more than fifteen minutes first.
And so I smiled with trickle-y eyes. Dangling my daughter’s faded blue swimsuit between us. Aware more than I’ve ever been of how much God cares. And not just for us.
But for even the swimsuits we’ve left behind at the YMCA.