Last Saturday, I forgot my camera bag loaded with more than $5000 worth of equipment (Nikon D800E and a new 24-120 f4 lens to name a couple of them) at McDonalds in Kihei. To say that the central part of my life revolves around this bag, behind the Lord and my family would be a perfect guess. Of course you will have to be a photographer to actually understand or believe that.
When I reached home 30 minutes later, I received a call from a Shad Sollars who inquired if I lost a camera bag. My immediate reply was that maybe it was my nephew's Canon 60D because he was the one playing with it at McDonalds earlier while we were having breakfast. However when I asked him he said his camera is back in his bag and at this point Shad mentioned that my business card was inside the camera bag that he found.
Shad must have sensed my utter shock as I loudly reacted to the thought that I have actually lost my precious equipment. He quickly reassured me that he has the bag and I can pick it up anytime at Lighthaus Camera in Kihei where he works, across from McDonalds. He saw the bag on a chair at an empty table on his way out! Instead of turning it over to the Manager of McDonalds, he took the bag and advised the manager that I could claim the bag at the camera store.
Words are not enough to describe my feelings when I met Shad to claim my bag. He said that he didn't leave it with the McDonald's manager because he felt it was more secure with him in his store and he knew fully well that the photographer-owner of that camera bag would have been heartbroken if it went missing. Even that would have been an understatement.
While at church today, I tearfully recounted the above events as I thank God for Shad Sollars' honest and compassionate heart. I cannot even begin to speculate if it wasn't him who found my camera bag but someone else. Isn't it wonderfully strange that another photographer would actually find this bag at McDonalds?
Thank you Shad Sollars. You will be in my thoughts for a long time. Because of your pure heart and God's providence, Christmas will be more special this year. Mine officially began when you called me with the good news.