The parable of the lost wallet

On Sunday evening I flew back from Delhi to Colombo arriving at Colombo airport at about 10 o’clock at night. There are a few minor hassles along the way but because the plane was half an hour early, Leslie had not yet arrived at the airport to pick me up. Flights make you thirsty and I was desperate for a drink of water so I went to the cafe in the arrivals area and bought a bottle of water.That was the last time I remember seeing my wallet.


I always keep my wallet in the same right-hand pocket of my trousers and things like keys, tissues etc in my left-hand pocket. When I arrived in Kandy I immediately realised that my wallet was missing from my right-hand pocket.

Panic set in as the implications of a lost wallet became obvious. It wasn’t so much the cash because most of my cash was still in my money belt for the wallet contains 4 different credit cards, driving licence and miscellaneous bits and pieces. It was the thought of trying to contact 4 different credit card companies from Sri Lanka which filled me with dread.

Had it fallen out my pocket in the van? Had a fallen to the floor when I got out of the car? Had I left it on the counter at the airport? Or worse still, and I been pick-pocketed while standing in the crowded arrivals area at the airport?

The first two possibilities were quickly checked. I rang Leslie who was still driving to his home – but it was not in the van. I went outside and check the drive and road – but it was not there. I rang Christine and said she might have to cancel my credit cards but that would be difficult because she didn’t have the numbers. I have an application on my iPhone which holds all sorts of personal information, and there I found at least one of the telephone numbers I would need to ring and another number which is a 0800 number – but you can’t ring a freephone number from outside the UK.

Kit and Maggie from Kandy were away in Colombo but Sakaran was a real blessing. While I was panicking he was praying and really believed in my wallet would turn up.

Meanwhile I was just about to ring the first number to cancel one of my credit cards when the telephone rang. Leslie had arrived at his house and checked again under the seat and there was my wallet! The relief was so great I went weak at the knees, and didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

There was much rejoicing and enormous sense to relief. Sakaran was rejoicing too – but he knew it would be found while I was planning contingencies.

I’m not saying that God deliberately caused me to lose my wallet but I’m quite sure that he used it to teach me a valuable lesson. I have had some amazing experiences over the years of the Lord’s protection in situations like this, but I still haven’t learnt to live at peace when they happen.

Leslie could so easily have found the wallet the first time he looked. But sometimes life is like that. We do not see clearly the answer is there all along. While I panicked and then made contingency plans, Sakaran simply put his faith in God. I think that I learned a lesson more valuable than the wallet and the credit cards it contained. Peace can rule in our hearts in every situation and our confidence is in the Lord and not in credit cards!

Author: George Dowdell

I was the founder of Karuna Action (formerly Kingscare) and was the director for 24 years. I have now handed control over to younger people but continue as an advisor and trustee. My passion is to see extreme poverty eliminated and to see justice for the powerless.

2 thoughts on “The parable of the lost wallet”

  1. Dear George – that empty feeeling at the pit of your stomach is hard to avoid but the joy of being reunited with your wallet makes it all worth while — (it happened to me ) that coconut looks delicious — love David and Sonia


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