I lost my purse at the Kentucky Baptist Convention.      

Last week was the annual meeting of Southern Baptists from all over the state of Kentucky. This year, it took place at Severns Valley Baptist Church in Elizabethtown.  Their campus is as large as a community college-an important fact in the story.      

On Monday, my beloved and I had enjoyed a day of seeing other pastors and their wives and hearing many good sermons.  After a delicious meal that evening, I realized my purse was missing.  We barreled back to the church to begin the search for it.           

I’ve lost a few important things in the past but now take extra precautions so as not to repeat the ordeal.  I couldn’t imagine that it was really gone.      

Re-entering Severns Valley, my beloved alerted all the custodians and those at the information desks.  (I had hoped to search in stealth mode.)  As we retraced my steps, I thought of my driver’s license, my concealed carry permit, debit card and all the other things I would have to replace.  Another pastor’s wife, Brittany Herd, whom I had just met a few hours earlier, looked in all the garbage cans.  (She’s a keeper!)

The next session of preaching had begun.  I crept into the sanctuary to look under the pews where we’d been earlier.  Hard to tell so I made a quick exit.

A dear pastor friend, Steve Rice, noticed me creeping around and came out of the sanctuary.  “Have you lost something?” he asked.  I spilled the beans.             

Andy McDonald, a KBC Church Consultant, was close by.  I told him my troubles, too.  “Let’s pray,” he suggested.  That was a GREAT idea! I thought.  (Clearly, his wife had lost her purse before.)          

We walked a 3K over the church campus searching for a purse I didn’t think was lost.  My head hurt from thinking.      

As Dr. James Merritt, the final preacher, prepared to come to the stage, I realized exactly where it was.  In the car.  My beloved and I quietly hurried out to see if I was right.  And I was.  It was under the floor mat-exactly where I had hidden it.  May the Lord’s Name be praised forevermore.            

The search for my purse was a wonderful example of how the body of Christ works together.  It’s also a great illustration of evangelism, discipleship, and even missions.  There were three key components:

1. See.  Bro. Steve saw that there was a need, a problem.    

2. Pray.  Andy invited the Lord into the situation.

3. Act.  Brittany was boots on the ground, walking every step with me to get the job done.

We hustled back into the church hoping to catch Dr. Merritt.  As we entered the building, I blurted out to all the searchers that we had found the missing purse in the car and thanked them all.

My beloved was mortified that I would be so forthcoming.  “I would be so embarrassed,” he let me know.

“You are such a boy,” I tsked, “Every woman has lost her purse at least once.”

I may lose a purse, a passport, a phone, or a computer (hypothetically, of course)…but I’m so thankful I’ll never lose my  salvation!



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