Last week at a conference I was hosting, someone “borrowed” my iPod without permission. It became known to most of the folks at the meeting that it was missing. I had a few folks come to me to express their personal regret. I instantly felt terrible that it would be a burden for anyone else and I felt guilty for my own carelessness.

A couple of people also let me know they were praying about it. I’ve never been comfortable with the things most others do in the name of God and I felt equally guilty that this was seen as prayer worthy.

While I am not a believer in any religion, I do believe in a thread that connects us all…that what one does has a direct impact on others. For that I call myself a spiritual person, a moral individual. Still, sometimes the faith of others overwhelms me…warm and safe when it comes from the place of kindness and generosity and it hurts me when it comes from the place of anger or fear. It also makes me smile when it’s simple. What has always been true for me is that the power of a group of people can be awesome. I just wish it was always for good.

I left the facility thinking it was gone forever. I cused myself for not being more careful of a thing that was valuable to me. But then three days later, I got a call from the facility to tell me that they had found it. It had been left in one of the sleeping rooms and recovered by a staff member there.

Funny thing, even when I thought the iPod was gone, I was embarrassed but also thankful for those people who where concerned. I finally considered the fact that those who thought enough to pray were not really praying for my iPod but that the right thing be done and that the person who “borrowed” it be reminded of what is right. Now, I sit here and think the person who took it must have felt enormous pressure…just from that invisible thread that connected a group of people for those few days. Enough to return it. No matter what anyone believes, no matter what I believe in, what actually happened made a powerful statement.

It’s a lesson in faith that I am listening to…

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