I mentioned recently that my checkbook went AWOL. Last Saturday morning, I went into a nearby market and wrote a check for my weekly groceries. That night, in anticipation of getting an early start on my Sunday morning routine, I prepared to write my checks for my weekly contribution. The checkbook was nowhere to be found. Several searches of my apartment and car proved fruitless. It was past nine PM but I drove to the store to see if it had been turned in- it had not. I wasn't sure what to do since it was the weekend with a Monday holiday so I knew the banks would be closed. Plus, there was the matter of my paying bills with some of the checks and I could not be quite sure of the check numbers since, you guessed it, they were in the checkbook log. By Tuesday, the last check I knew I had written showed up in my Chase Bank online account so I knew where to start. I knew where the next set of checks began numerically so I narrowed it down to eleven lost checks. Our church accountant, Ann Stone, warned me it might be expensive to remedy but advised me to go down to the local branch in person instead of simply calling a 1-800 number to get help. That turned out to be platinum advice!
I left school early on Wednesday afternoon to resolve the problem at my Chase branch which is only a mile away. When I walked in, I stood in front of the customer service desk but a gentleman behind the tellers' glass motioned to me to come on. I replied I needed some help and he told me he was the manager and he could do just that! I explained my circumstances to the manager, Eduardo Perez, and he could have not have been more helpful or gracious. He explained the process and informed that there would be absolutely no charge! I sheepishly explained my penchant for losing things and he suggested several future options that would minimize my addiction to carelessness. I walked into the bank that afternoon dreading the consequences for my actions but I left feeling relieved, maybe even uplifted. Instead of being penalized for my mental gaffe, I escaped repercussions.
I wish I could say it won't happen again but it will. Since then, I've twice left keys hanging in the door, potentially more serious than the checkbook. And there still is the matter of some records I wrote down in that checkbook log which I'll have to piece together at the end of the year for tax purposes. But I feel like I was exonerated in a sense from the dilemma of my own creation. I'm not saying the other good folks at CHASE could not have handled the problem but it's certain that Eduardo had the authority and the willingness to fix my mistake when I did not know what to do. That's kind of our spiritual lot in life, isn't it? There were many great saints in the Bible but we don't sing "I've Found A Friend In Abraham/Isaac/Jacob" or "Footprints of Peter/James/John." The One who can save us is The One who did save us from sin and from ourselves and from the debt we could not pay, no matter how long or hard we worked. You know, as in ''Jesus Loves The Little Children.'' The reality is that I must be protected from myself, both spiritually and in the physical realm. And make no mistake, it always pays to know the banker.