Dear Thief, Thank You.....
(Originally posted on https://www.facebook.com/HopeInTheHeart?ref=hl on 1st January 2014. An account of my second experience of being robbed in Spain, in contrast to the first, detailed in my previous post "Repair Time".)
This is Malaga Cathedral, where I had a profound experience yesterday (New Year's Eve).
Feeling unusually negative, on the way to visit my ailing uncle who has just, devastatingly for him, gone to live in a nursing home in Spain, I wanted to see the cathedral on the inside. As I entered the courtyard, a woman approached me, offering a sprig of rosemary. I gave her a euro and she pinned it to my clothes. We exchanged a warm smile, a few words in our different languages, and she gave me a blessing as she left, with her hand on her heart.
When I went to pay my entry fee to the cathedral, all the notes were gone from my wallet. I felt foolish; hurt and gullible. The woman had been skilled to lift the cash from my still-open wallet while pinning on the rosemary. Moments later I thought of my credit cards. Panic. Had she taken those too?
They were still there. And that's when the miracle happened. I suddenly felt awash with gratitude. More grateful than I have ever felt before. For all that I still had. My cards, my iPhone, my passport. My wonderful husband in England, so loving and concerned when I had phoned and told him of the theft.
Enough in the bank to immediately replace what had been taken.
The sun shone, warming me, and the oranges were like jewels against the dark green of the trees that lined my path. I felt gratitude for my ability to travel easily to this foreign land. For the sunshine. For the people who directed me despite the language barrier. Kind. Wanting to help. And for the woman who had robbed, and blessed, me, facilitating this joyful gift of gratitude for what I often take for granted. Huge gratitude that I am not the one who lives a life, for whatever reason, of dishonesty and deceit. I have experienced both and know the deep and aching misery that inevitably accompanies them.
I felt gratitude for the people who love me, and whom I love. For my wonderful life and, in that moment, for the gifts of acceptance, compassion and forgiveness to take me into 2014. And such hope!
My abundant blessings go to the woman outside the cathedral, whose blessing to me brought more abundance than she could ever know. May this new year bring her better times. And New Year's Blessings to you all!
(PS The inside of the cathedral, when I finally made it in, was beyond glorious!)