Popular author and pastor Jarrid Wilson was shocked on Sunday when he and his wife, Julianne, discovered a random wallet filled with $600 in cash in the parking lot of the Franklin Farmers Market in Franklin, Tennessee.
As first, they weren’t sure what to do, as they worried that a tourist would find him or herself in dire straits without the wallet.
“The initial thoughts that crossed our minds were: ‘This is terrible. Someone, possibly a tourist, is walking around Nashville without any money. We’ve got to try and find them,'” Wilson told Faithwire on Monday. “Both my wife and I realized very quickly that this $600 could be the make of break for someone’s rent, car payment, food or many other things we need in life.
He continued, “It’s not a small sum of money no matter who you are.”
God's love satisfies, fulfills, comforts, embraces, encourages, provides, and redeems.
— Jarrid Wilson (@JarridWilson) April 9, 2017
But finding the person would be a difficult task, considering the wallet had no I.D. and the credit cards inside were in Japanese, a language neither Jarrid nor Julianne are familiar with.
Still, the two set out on a mission. While some people might have pocketed the cash, the two were bent on finding the owner. Their plan: Look for any Japanese individuals in the area and talk with them to see about any potential leads.
After heading to the Factory at Franklin, a nearby collection of shops and restaurants, the two were shocked to immediately find a group of individuals who fit that mold. While initially no one in the group said they had lost a wallet, Wilson went through the wallet one more time and found a name: “Jin Yumanano.”
And that’s when he and his wife had a breakthrough. After Wilson said the name aloud, the family said, “That’s grandpa Jin’s wallet!” Wilson was suddenly relieved.
“Jin was in his late 80’s, barely spoke any English, and was here in Tennessee 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 told Faithwire. “He looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, ‘No words. No words,’ while we hugged.”
It was an experience that left both Wilson and his wife in shock, as they didn’t expect to find the wallet’s owner due to the aforementioned lack of an I.D. and the language barrier. But God clearly had other plans.
Jesus turned Saul into Paul. A man who once persecuted Christians preached about Jesus. Jesus can change you too. Jesus can change anyone.
— Jarrid Wilson (@JarridWilson) April 8, 2017
“The fact that we not only found them, but it just so happened to be the first people we questioned blew our mind,” Wilson said. “The cherry on top was that they didn’t even know he has lost his wallet, and they were leaving back to Japan the next day. It was a total God thing.”
In the end, Wilson said the experience helped him to reflect on some important details and themes, particularly when it comes to the importance of honesty and character.
“Integrity and honesty are always key. Could we have somehow justified keeping the money because there was no identification? I’m sure if we tried hard enough, but that’s not who were are,” he said. “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.”
And that’s exactly what ended up happening. Sometimes it’s a simple act of goodness that makes all the difference.
Other Must-Read Stories: