Author: grichards01





You might call me absent-minded; I’ve always lost things. As far back as I could remember (long before I donned eye wear in my 30s), I misplaced things regularly. Keys, ink pens, chap stick, note pads etc.
Usually when I left objects in an area, I found them there . But other times, often minutes later, my simple scans turned into frantic, intense searches. It took years before I realized the pattern of this peculiarity. Finally I figured out how to manage this annoying, frustrating habit. It seemed my mind had to behold the object before my eyes could receive it.
This process took about a minute to sort out. A quick look might mean missing the object completely. Subsequently, when taking a closer, slower , deliberate gaze I beheld the target. Sometimes the thing was right in my face; other times it was there in close proximity. Somehow I missed it, even where I looked already.

This peculiar blindness became an annoying nuisance to me.
The outdoors also became arena for the lost and found: cell phones and wallets. Sometimes I found them on the porch , the curb, the lawn , near or around the car. Other times my belongings were returned within a day or during the week — by mail, phone call or in person. Good fortune often smiled upon me.

Losing things, however, could really complicate things—in a hurry.
Last Thursday, I scooped up coins, keys and mints off a foldable table and dumped them in my pants pocket. I dashed to my black 2008 Lincoln Town car and pulled away. On the way home I stopped by Family Dollar variety store. With a few purchases, I filled my carry basket. But when I reached in my pocket I didn’t feel my wallet. I patted my other pockets—front and back. Then for a second time , the pat-down. I felt the coins, fingered the keys and mints. No wallet.


Now I was concerned. In fact, dread crept in. Again. Was the wallet in the car—on the seat? Near the armrest ? Near the door ? I searched around —and found nothing. Now what ? Maybe the house. I revisited my usual settings: the living room sofa and study desk. Still nothing. Could I have left it, lost it at work, at school? Maybe out at lunch ? Who knew?
But first , I had to protect my money and IDs . I phoned the credit union to close my checking account. Next , my driver’s license and vehicle registration duplicates. Tomorrow I must backtrack.
Friday morning I returned to Digital Harbor High–this time an hour earlier. Anxiously I entered the classroom , and surveyed the area—where I sat, then the aisles and doorways. Nothing. Minutes later I found the assistant principal at her desk . I asked her if anyone had turned in my wallet. When she replied to the contrary, I told her I could not report to work. I had business at the Department of Motor Vehicles in a neighboring district ,Glen Burnie, MD.
Soon I returned to my favorite Subway restaurant and asked an employee about the wallet. Another “no” meant a definite trip to the DMV. I arrived at 8 a.m. ; the doors opened 8:30. The 3 hour ordeal cost me $25 total. With that transaction done, I breathed relief. My afternoon felt a whole lot better, cruising in auto-pilot. I settled into my noon routine : ABC news, Young & Restless, Bold & Beautiful, The Talk and Dr. Phil. Still I couldn’t belief I lost or misplaced that wallet.
Then at 2:45, the phone rang. It was an old friend, my former instructional aide. She told me that my wallet had been found, and I could get it from the assistant principal. I thanked her and hung up. Leaning back I smiled, looked toward the ceiling and whispered,” Thank you , Lord.” Oh happy day! I’m on my way!
My anticipation made this the best ride downtown since the Ravens championship in 2000. Even the traffic cooperated; I reached my destination in 20 minutes.


The assistant principal greeted me.
“You must be living right, man! You’re blessed.”
“ I know.”
She explained how the wallet mystery was solved. Because I wasn’t reporting, she relocated my class to another room, combining them with another class. Thus, my room remained empty, without student traffic. A teacher who would occupy my room later that afternoon discovered my wallet.
He returned it—fully intact.
She joked about finding contact numbers in my wallet from “my women. ” Also she shared a cautionary tale about calling one of my friends and explaining who she was as well as the situation.
“How much money did you have?” asked the curious administrator.
“A ten dollar bill. “
”Yep, “ she smiled , then handed over my valuables .
“Of course I know what’s in my wallet. It’s mine.

On the way home I gave God thanks. He made my load little lighter today.
I thanked Him not only for helping me connect with my wallet, but being the Good Shepherd, He corralled me, guided me, protected and provided for –His flock. He found things that were missing and people who were lost. He gave them worth and purpose , direction and understanding . He made the impossible possible.
God knows who and what we are created to be . He knows where we need to be and how to get us there. He knows how to give the peace we desire. And He knows what is required of the journey ahead.
And I am so thankful He found me — lost wallet and all. In life, sometimes we get lost. Sometimes we lose the contents from our wallets. We make mistakes– for countless reasons , whether intentional, spontaneous, rebellious, furious, stubborn and stupid reasons.
Through all of our flaws, foibles and faux pas, God shows us He is Our Shepherd. He is there to lead us back where we belong , welcome us and receive us. Through dangers , spoils and snares, the known and unknown we ought to be thankful . And I am so glad there is One who looks high and low, who protects and saves babes and fools who habitually lose things.


My lost wallet experience was divine redemption. We all were all wallets, embodied with collective physical and spiritual currencies ( our bodies and souls.) However, the contents of wallets differ: some heavier than others –depending on the number of IDs, credit cards, checks and cash.
We are all wallets of some kind, carrying various folds of faux pas. Some mistakes are intentional ; others innocent; rebellious, docile, curious, stubborn and stupid. As humans we make mistakes. We err for countless reasons. Through our flaws, trials and snares the Good Shepherd is there to lead
us back, welcome us back where we belong– the flock. We ought to be thankful ! Indeed magnify His name.
Of course this would not be the last time I would lose or misplace objects or lose my train of thought. After all , at 62 I’m reaching senior status. But I’m so glad there was One who looked out for the helpless, searched high and low for the Lost, provided and protected the Needy. And finally, magnify Him who saved fools who habitually lose stuff like me.


I must shore up my spiritual and moral assets. Our wallets are holders of valuables and currency : photo IDs, credit/ debit cards, checks, and cash. As humans, we embody culture, status, wealth, character and personality. We are composites of essentials : different shapes and sizes, shades and colors, grades and wear.

We are living  wallets, I suppose. Though the contents in our wallets matter, what God puts in us (His wallets) matters most ! Let God give us the currency we really need. Let Him lighten our load, grow our wealth and prune our budgets.
This is the type of currency I want in my wallet . The type of currency found in Galatians 5.

I want currency for the kingdom, wealth that embodies my spirit. I want coins like love and joy, cash like peace and contentment, credit with patience and perseverance, debits of kindness, goodness, and gentleness, layered with open checks for hope and faith.

If I don’t have enough currency in my wallet—in me…If I have spent out—I know where I can re-up, I know where I can jumpstart my cash flow, I know where I get a refund. I go to my ATM ( the Almighty, the True God, my Messiah). I get on my knees, and I lift my voice, sending forth a prayer of petition, of intercessory, of thanksgiving. Then I wait for Him, the Heavenly Treasurer, to transact what He has for me, fill my wallet with blessings.
Galatians 5:22-23New King James Version (NKJV)

So be careful , be vigilant. Don’t lose your wallet and all that’s in it. Don’t lose yourself runnin’ with the Joneses. Get it together !
However, if you do get lost—if you do lose your way– do not dismay , Rejoice today, for you shall recover it all ! Ask God to forgive you, help you. Ask Him to lead you. Let Him redeem you. Let Him show you the way to your fruits, to your gifts and your talents. Let Him show you where you belong.
God gives us everything we need to sustain ourselves and prosper; to share and serve others; to influence and do good.
So what’s in your wallet? Make sure you put the kingdom in it.


The Guesser & the Stranger

Glancing , then drawn  I am  to capsules

of texts and frames of  images. Even  now

narrowing the  bold print, Death keeps me

guessing.  About  fullness of  life  and

returns of tomorrow . Never knowing

nearness of the end.


Beloveds build  nostalgic pyramids

of light and pillars of wisdom.  Lives stoked

with  tender strokes  and brimming  embers.


Such  reads   run the  the scope of humanity :

noteworthy  and infamy, drones and dreamers.

Death is the jester who keeps me amused

–the wild card who keeps me guessing.


A peculiar host , this stranger rests

in my parlor. His face veiled, his lips  pressed,

his eyes astray. Keeps me praying .


Baltimore sista  Carolina twista

She has a way 

Her eyes

project  sunrays

Her face delights

in almond peach cherry banana flavors

Her words ripple southern breezes

All she touches smiles
She has her ways 


Image may contain: one or more people
 An amazon she stands      A lioness she  purrs
A  canary she coos             A buzzard am I 
for her stallion legs
Like potters we play scoop and smear 
I let her have her way we revel 
in our harvest


wiles & mazes we knew
would come to this after all
A tingling twitch wonderfully weird
this thing

here now you me
we zigged zagged dodged and darted into
a corner of curiosity we knew
in this game winning’s only
the beginning ….

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting and indoor
 an alien eye
halo of  lust      imp of surrender
this here thing now
got you me we
’bout to seize what we see
shall we ?

SUNRISE/ Tomorrow’s Offering




Mighty nation, rise

Cast to  the wind the ashes

Of sorrow — dust of the dead .

Beloved Afrika, we must


Rise again. Light the adrenaline

of lost ages. For you

the damned is not destined.

Master what you will.

Will is the master.

Clutch the anguish of the fallen

warriors & strike  back


with bloody  fury.  Salt the gashes

of nations . In civil wars,   snarled

with  fire powder.   Line  the  wounds

–refulgent  scars, stripes  of glory –We

are emblems  of tomorrow’s light.


The horizon is our altar.

On we fight , to be what we must

be.  Free. To rise again,

as Afrikans.


(Jazz at the  5-Mile House )


When folkz vibe in  a   joint 5 mile high

They brewin stew –hot n happenin

Jammin gotta be juke  man!   Like Fuzzy Kane

Cool-hand Luke on keyboards

I like waving steam –know what I mean?


Now comes Ms Ruby cattin a groove so hot

The night wilted—jus dropped dead

Sho nuff we flowin—keepin it goin

Groovin brewin stewin –just like I said

Next up — Mr Saxophone blew a blast

Then copped  a croon       spit fire     sprayed cool

Jus kept it goin  spewin what we  knew


Here comes Mr Drummer  sneakin a snare

Poundin a pulse

Looky there     Looky there

He on the prowl Bringin  up  Mr Bass

Spider-plunkin  oh-wow

Specially this one cat who kept  growlin “I like that !”


Now that’s alright  cuz we too

Think the  models are  goldalicious

Struttin to  Travis ‘   nods &  winks


Now comes these young Turks

Boppin loose & steady they wanted some too

Showin  the ol timers plenty of what  they  do

Got  the message &  gonna  carry the  news

Sky’s no limit      Know what I’m sayin


Serve yoself  ample samples

& chill out loud


Sometimes you wake to a refrain. The pulse sparks
and blood itches. Dawn echoes and whispers hymns.
A lyrical surge lodges in your spirit,
ascends, peaks in formations
and visions.

This surge breathes, speaks
in brittle breezes–