So at the tail end of this weekend’s camping trip (in which we, as a family of eight, worked hard to keep cool) we drove into the parking lot of the State Park’s Nature Center (all state parks have them – it’s like a free museum!”) and found a little spot of shade to put our car (in hopes of avoiding being scalded on the dark blue plastice seats when we got back) twenty feet from a man standing by a pickup truck that he too had parked with tree shade-employment in mind.

He offered to move his vehicle for us (his shade being slightly bigger than our) but we declined (thanking him) and as we walked across the median he reminded us that there were ticks around (“wood ticks and deer ticks”) and that we should be mindful of this. We told him that we would be sure to check our kids later.

We went into the Nature Center (which was blessedly air conditioned) and tried our hand at naming birds, and animal footprints. We bought 3 t-shirts (only $3 each!) and then went back outside.

And when we got back to our car, there was a twenty dollar bill tucked into the driver’s side door handle.

Here is the thought process that went through my head in the next five seconds:

1. What’s this?

2. Hey, cool, 20 bucks!

3. Now why did he leave that? <I was assuming, and I still have no reason to doubt this assumption, that it was the shade-exploiting-truck’s driver.>

4. <I’m not proud of this overly suspicious thought> What, did he steal something or run into our car and felt guilty about it? <This turned out out to be a false fear, I had left the car unlocked with (perhaps foolishly) some valuable stuff in it, but they are all accounted for.>

5. <After checking to see that the valuables, including a laptop, were still there> Okay, he did it for good reasons. Now what were they?

6. <this was the next idea that popped into my head> Perhaps, he did it because he thought God wanted him to. Why, I have no idea. I don’t think we look poor. We were generally happy when we walked by him. We didn’t provide a service to him.

7. In any case, going with that assumption (that he thought God wanted him to), and the (certainly less evidentially based) assumption that God actually want him to, Why?

8. God has some good use in mind for those 20 dollars. <My thought is that, even if this thought is wrong, it’s not a bad assumption to make. So my question is now. . . >

9.  What should I do with the 20 bucks?


In any case – if you were that guy, we thank you!