Picture this: You’re headed to the Farmer’s Market on a Sunday afternoon, and you come across a wallet with no identification, and $600 cash. What do you do?
The easy thing to say is, “Obviously, you turn it in.” But in today’s society, it’s incredible how often that “obvious” response isn’t always the first thought.
It’s not surprising of course. The Bible says that the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy. This world is conditioned to do just that—steal what doesn’t belong to them.
Luckily there are wonderful people like Jarrid Wilson and his wife, Julianne, who value honesty and integrity.
The pastor and his bride were at the Franklin Farmer’s Market in Franklin, Tennessee, on Sunday afternoon when they discovered a wallet that someone had dropped. Inside was $600 and no form of identification. As if that wasn’t enough anonymity, all of the credit cards inside were not in English, but Japanese.
“The initial thoughts that crossed our minds were: ‘This is terrible. Someone, possibly a tourist (due to the “travelers” credit card), is walking around Nashville without any money. We’ve got to try and find them,’” Jarrid told Faithwire. “Both my wife and I realized very quickly that this $600 could be the make or break for someone’s rent, car payment, food or many other things we need in life. It’s not a small sum of money no matter who you are.”
And so the adventure began. They knew that their best bet would be to profile anyone nearby who appeared to be of Japanese descent. Jarrid detailed the series of events on Facebook:
“Juli said, ‘This might sound weird, but let’s ask the first person we see that looks Japanese if they can read the information on the wallet for us before giving it over to the lost and found.’ I agreed and we continued our walk to the Farmers Market.”
The dynamic duo walked through the shops nearby, and covered some ground before spotting their first group of possible confidants. Jarrid and Juli explained the situation and then asked if any of them were missing their wallet.
“They explained that they were, in fact, Japanese, but none of them had lost their wallets.”
Jarrid thumbed through the leather bifold once more—this time, finding a name. “Are any of you Jin Yumanano?” he asked. That’s when the oldest man of the collective frantically responded, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” It turns out that Grandpa Jin had lost his wallet, and none of them had been looking for it because no one even realized it was missing.
“Jin was in his late 80s, barely spoke any English, and was here in Tennesse to visit relatives and perform at the Nashville Cherry Blossom event. Jin had no clue that he lost his wallet and was leaving the next day to go back to Japan.
He looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, ‘No words. No words.’ while we hugged.”
For Jarrid and Julianne, the experience had God’s name written all over it.
“The fact that we not only found them, but it just so happened to be the first people we questioned, blew our mind,” Jarrid told Faithwire. “The cherry on top was that they didn’t even know he had lost his wallet, and they were leaving back to Japan the next day. It was a total God thing.”
Sunday’s events are such a beautiful reminder that God sees us, always.
The couple’s lack of Japanese knowledge made it impossible for them to know who they were looking for. But the Bible tells us that the Lord knows each of us by name. Jarrid finds comfort in knowing that God orchestrated the wallet’s return from start to finish.
He says that anyone could have found a way to justify keeping the money, especially because there was no identification. But for him, “integrity and honesty are always key.”
“It wasn’t ours. We just had this gut feeling that God was going to provide us with a way to get this wallet back to its owner.”
He did just that, and all in His perfect and beautiful timing.