Clara found some chocolate eggs with prizes inside of them at an after Christmas sale. She was so excited about how cheap they were that she bought an entire stack of 8 or 9 of them with the intention of giving them out to her friends at church the next Sunday.

She piled them up in the living room and fought to protect them from her brother and sister (and herself), but by the time Sunday morning came around there were only four left. She very diligently wrapped each of these in black wrapping paper with white polka-dots and stuck a bow on top of each one. She finished just as we were rushing out the door to get into the car.

When we arrived inside of the church building a few minutes later she frantically realized that she was only holding three of the small wrapped packages. The fourth one was missing.

“Just wait until after church. It’s probably still in the car, and you can just run out and get it later. It’s not like you can pass out the presents before then anyway.”

But she was distraught. Which one of her four friends was she not going to give a present to? What if it had been left at home, or was dropped in the parking lot?

Finally, her mother gave her permission to run out to the car and check quick, in the hopes that it would help her calm down.

A few minutes later we realized she had still not returned. Her worried mother got up and looked out into the parking lot. Clara was not there. She checked in the entry way. It was empty. She checked in the Fellowship Hall. Still nothing. A small search party was organized to scour the building, while my wife started thinking that the strange little girl had possibly been abducted from the parking lot.

They soon found her safe in one of the side rooms. She was sitting by herself with a stack of paper and a pencil. She was drawing “LOST” posters with a hand drawn picture of her present on each one. Apparently her idea was to pass these posters out to everyone at church, so we could all walk through the building and the parking lot looking for a wrapped present that matched the one on the posters.

With a frustrated groan we dragged her back into the auditorium and she was not allowed to leave her seat for the rest of the church service.

Later that afternoon we got back into the car and she found the package sitting next to her seat. She hadn’t actually bothered to even look in the car. It didn’t matter much, because one of the friends she had planned on giving the gift to had not been there that day anyway. And Gideon later found the package still sitting inside of the car, and tore it open and seems to have greatly enjoyed the contents for himself.