Yesterday, I experienced another first.
I lost a cellphone.
I’ve never lost a cellphone in my entire cellphone-bearing life (that’s approximately 8 years). I’ve never misplaced it, or got it stolen (thank God). Most of my phones just get broken. But today was different.
Seeing as I work in a telecommunications company, mobile phones are normal in our environment. I borrowed a Nokia 6111 for testing purposes since November last year, and since I borrowed it from the office, the phone was under my name. My name = my accountability.
The other day, the said phone was not charged and since I still don’t have any extra outlet in my cubicle, I had it plugged in my officemate’s extension which is what I usually do. I had a series of meetings in the morning and when I went back, my officemate was out and the phone was exposed, so I hid it in between his pedestal cabinet and his desk. It was our usual doing, really, so I had no qualms about hiding it there.
Unfortunately, that charging phone slipped out of my mind until yesterday morning, and when I looked at my officemate’s desk, the charger wasn’t there anymore. I assumed he must have kept it in his drawer to keep it safe. When he got there, I asked him about it and he said he didn’t remember it. Maybe he just forgot it, but it wasn’t in his cabinet.
I checked with the guard, with the people around and then the scary conclusion: it’s lost. :(
I was scared because I knew I was going to have to pay for that missing unit (and charger!), and it’s just hard to accept that. I was angry, worried, distressed and more angry at the person who took the phone from where it was. My officemates offered some theories on who could’ve took it, while I was angry at myself for being so irresponsible. Even if it’s not my fault that someone would take advantage of the phone, If I hadn’t forgotten about it then it would not have been stolen. :(
Losing the phone yesterday reminded me that there was a patron saint for lost objects. I remember back before my trip to Cebu in 2001, I was panicking because I thought I lost my original *NSYNC No Strings Attached CD (go ahead, laugh :p) and I found myself praying to St. Jude who I thought was the patron saint of lost objects ((He’s actually the patron saint of hopeless cases)) but it is actually St. Anthony of Padua. Yes, I found the CD that time, but anyway, yesterday I found St. Anthony’s prayer while I looked for the phone.
I admit that I don’t really ask saints for intercession as much as my mom does, but I believe that they can intercede for our prayers. It’s just not in the habit. The events yesterday made me pray a saint’s prayer again, but I was sort of wary to myself because I felt like I was being insincere. I mean, I’ve never asked them to pray for me before, and it feels too impersonal to ask them this time.
That night, I heard mass because it was first Wednesday, and I found another prayer forming in my heart: that I may be able to forgive the person who took the phone. Maybe he really needs it, and even if it doesn’t justify the act, in the end, I must forgive him to set myself free from the anger. So I asked for the strength to forgive him and the resources to pay for the phone, which I know He will provide.
And then the commentator gave the announcements for the EDSA Shrine and introduced the choir. The choir’s name? San Antonio de Padua.
I had to smile at that. Lord, was that an affirmation? I think so. :) I wondered briefly if the phone would magically come back, but as of now, it hasn’t but I will not lose hope that it might come back after some time. Or that God would help me find a cheap phone replacement for it. Either way, God affirmed me last night that He is still taking care of me, and that this loss is also a part of His plan.
I’m okay! But I do get bummed about it sometimes, but I will just continue trusting Him (and yes, I falter a lot of times) and praying this prayer so St. Anthony of Padua would intercede for me. To everyone else: be careful of your things, okay?
Dear Saint Anthony, you are the patron of the poor and the helper of all who seek lost articles. Help me to find the object I have lost so that I will be able to make better use of the time I will gain for God’s greater honor and glory. Grant your gracious aid to all people who seek what they have lost – especially those who seek to regain God’s grace. Amen.
God’s day everyone!