this man's name is gary hennessey. he works for the malden police department. and he is currently my favorite person in the entire world. the story you are about to read is unbelievable.
We went to a pretty cemetery that was basically desolate. We were the only people there. I find that lugging around my equipment while taking pictures is getting more difficult these days, considering the extra baggage i'm carrying around my mid-section. So I set my camera bag down, by a tree, about ten feet behind me. As we were taking pictures, a man in a silver truck drove by. We thought nothing of it. He drove by again, only this time he stopped for a minute, and slid to the other side of his car and opened the door, then drove away. And we still thought nothing of it. Until five minutes later when I realized that my camera bag that had been so lovingly left by the tree behind me was no longer there. He took my bag!! Snatched it right from underneath my nose and I just let him!
I started to get very nauseous and shaky and sad feeling all over. Because inside that camera bag was my $500 lens. And all my other camera equipment/knick knacks that I have gathered over the years. So we hoped that maybe that man worked for the cemetery. And maybe he was just tidying up...
only why the heck would he take my CAMERA bag if I was standing right there with my CAMERA in my hand? It was very obvious it belonged to me.
So we started to search the cemetery for this silver truck. It was no where to be found. We went to the cemetery office to find out if he worked there. They were closed. So we went back to Miriam and Bryant's apartment and made some phone calls to the city cemetery management, but couldn't get a hold of anyone. At this point, I've pretty much realized that I would never see that precious bag again. And as Miriam so happily put it, "Your chances of getting it back are pretty much zero."
Luckily, my current payment plan for my camera equipment is set up so that I don't have to pay for something that gets lost or stolen. So I called the credit company and they said I needed a police report to prove that it had been stolen. So about 45 minutes after the robbery, we made a call to the police department. I then called Wade to tell him what was going on. He just so happened to be listening to this talk from conference when I called (read it. it's a good one). He didn't mention this to me, but he told me not to worry and that everything would work out. I'm not going to lie, I thought he was full of crap. It would not work out. Things like this don't work out.
The above mentioned man showed up in a very jolly mood. He made me laugh even though I was so upset. And he seemed genuinely interested in helping me get my bag back. He took all my information and the description of my bag down and then suddenly an idea popped into his head. He said, "hey, there's a camera store just a couple blocks away from here. let's go talk to them and tell them to be on the lookout for anyone who might come in trying to sell your lens." I'm so skeptical! I thought it was a ridiculous idea. But I went down there with him anyway.
The manager at the store said he would keep his eye open for someone in a silver truck, but really, thats all the information we could give him. He said he wouldn't just accuse anyone coming in selling a lens of stealing it. And then we left, and I felt like it was pointless going in there.
Miriam and Bryant stayed with me this entire time and were so helpful and supportive. We got back in the car and debated whether or not we should go finish taking pictures. I was pretty grumpy, but figured there was nothing I could do about the situation, so we might as well go finish. We went back to the cemetery and took pictures for about a half hour, when the same police man showed up. He yelled out his window, "Hey! I got your bag back!" And I thought it was a joke. I really did not believe him. He then told me that someone had come to the camera store we went to and tried to sell my lens. He just needed me to come down to the store and identify my equipment and the truck parked outside. Even as we were driving back to the store, I refused to believe that it really was my lens. I didn't want to get my hopes up. Like I said before, things like this just don't work out.
We got to the store and immediately recognized the truck sitting outside. There was the culprit, talking to some policemen and sure enough, it was him. He had told the trade-in manager at the store that his son had dropped his camera in a lake while they were fishing, so he didn't need the lens anymore. Yeah...he left out the part where the fishing was actually stealing, and the lake was actually a cemetery. Anyway, the police showed me the lens and bag and I told them it was mine. So they arrested the poor man and put him in the car right in front of us! And then I felt such sadness for him... such a dumb thing for him to go to jail for.
As we got back in the car, another police man pulled up to the window and told me how lucky I was. He said, "um...that NEVER happens." seriously...how often does stolen merchandise get returned to its owner? So I kept thinking about how "lucky" I was. But once I really started to think about it...I realized it wasn't luck at all. Too many things went right. Too many things could have gone wrong. It just so happened that Gary Hennessey was the police who came to file my report? It just so happened that he thought Hunt's camera store a few blocks away would be a good place to go? It just so happened that the robber chose that store to sell the lens? and it just so happened that we beat the robber to the store before he tried to sell it?
Wade texted me as the police showed up and said, "I'm praying that the cops will know where to find your bag." My cute Wade always has so much faith. Much more than I have. I'm what you would call a realist...which doesn't mean I don't have faith. It just means that certain things in life happen, and I feel that there are natural consequences to those things. And that God doesn't intervene in petty things like camera lenses. But now I'm learning that He does intervene for silly camera lenses. And He knows what's important to me, which means it's important to Him too. And I think He knew that I couldn't possibly handle one more rotten thing to happen to us at this time in our lives (especially financially related...), because I would just be crushed.
and all i can really say about the whole thing is i'm so grateful.
also...i am thinking about naming my first born after him.