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3.27.2012

California and A Ring

"DON"T MOVE!"
I had just gotten up to say good-bye to my friend Lyndon, who had come to meet us at Venice Beach.
I was hunched over dusting the sand off my legs, when my friend QA yelled this to me.
As I tried to straighten up she said it again in a more frantic voice.
Urgent.
Certainly with authority.
"DON"T MOVE."
So with my hands now resting on my knees, my butt sticking out--I waited.
I was convinced that she had seen a rattlesnake.
Keeping my feet firmly planted in the sand I swiveled my upper body slowly so that I could see her.
She was intently scanning the sand.
I too, looked at the sand but saw nothing.
Which was the problem.
A few seconds earlier, while I was bent over, she decided to help get the sand off of my behind.
Unfortunately, as she swatted my pwet, her diamond ring flew off her finger in an untraceable trajectory.
Although she felt it slip off, she never saw it land.
Lyndon who had an appointment to keep, tried to help us search for the ring but we told him to go.
Without ever breaking eye contact with the sand-- I said goodbye to a friend that I had not seen since 2006--and told him to pray that we would find it.
I then told him that I would call him WHEN it was found.
Even after we had combed the sand for about 45 minutes, I reassured QA that we were going to find it.
While I realize that it is easy to have faith when it is not your ring buried in the sand, I was confident that I would have felt the same if it were my ring.
I know this because as soon as her ring got lost, the very first thing I did was to remove my ring and toss it into the sand just to observe how it landed.
(It disappeared immediately and QA called me crazy)

I calmly shared with QA the thoughts going through my mind as I was on my hands and knees gently sifting for her platinum diamond ring:

1. That things happen for a reason
a) and that the reason we were having difficulty finding it--is because if it were easy, then there would be no reason to connect with God.
b) That there was a reason that I was in California, and I was certain that it was NOT so that I could drag my girl friend to the beach so that she could lose her ring and cause disharmony in her life.






c) Right before the ring got lost in the sand I had just declared it to be a perfect day.
I had just finished running 3 miles on the beach BAREFOOT for the first time in my life and had felt completely happy and in sync with life. Something in my gut told me that the day was going to get even better.
2. That I was absolutely positive that if we prayed with faith and a thankful heart, that the ring would be found. I promised her this.
3. That self flagellation, negativity and a doomsday attitude messes with one's cell signal to God.

She needed more convincing.

It was then that I decided to send QA away on an errand, away from me, because as she repeatedly declared "It's Gone" and "We are never going to find it" her plaintive cries were creating a whole lot of static interference in my line of communication to God.
I looked up from the sand and asked her to walk to the lifeguard station.
I told her to ask if they knew anyone with a metal detector.
The moment she walked away, I continued to pray but this time, out aloud.
When she got back she told me that the lifeguard gave her a phone number that she had called.
The man that answered said that he was about 30 minutes away and that if he got stuck in traffic--that he would (I am giggling even as I type this)--ride his skateboard to get to us quickly.
The picture conjured up by him and his mode of transportation hardly screamed professional.
Anyhow, he told us to stop digging in the sand so that the ring would not sink deeper.
As QA and I waited, I remembered to call Gabi.
Gabi is an extremely confident prayer.
As soon as she got on the phone, I told her that her Tita Q's engagement ring fell in the sand and that we could not find it.
Right away she said, "Ok, I'll pray right now."
But here's the unusual part.
She added something that she had never done before. She put a time stamp on her prayer.
She said: "You will find it before 8:20 pm" (east coast time)
I hung up the phone with a slightly puzzled yet excited feeling.
The local time was 5:02 pm.
With the detector being a 30 minute skateboard ride away, my faith faltered for a brief second before I shook it off and just breathed.
Suddenly, this guy showed up and he was dressed in some sort of a cape.
His name was Adriano Mattoni (310) 429-5432
He introduced himself, chitchatted a bit--and sat down and carefully removed his shoes.
By that time I was now laughing internally, because I knew that it was just a matter of time before my friend QA experienced faith in action. I was confident that this moment was going to change her life.

From the time he started metal detecting to the time he FOUND the ring , about 52 seconds had elapsed.
The time?
5:15 pm California time.
8:15 pm where Gabi was sitting and praying with expectant faith.
It is a good thing her ring was not this big.

Otherwise she would not have been able to witness the power of prayer on that perfect day in Venice Beach, California.
Sometimes, less is truly more.

5 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:12 PM

    Awesome story!!!!

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  2. Chip Burke10:48 AM

    Wonderful story!

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  3. i just googled "adriano mattoni" and found your site. i was going through old business cards. I met him my one time in LA. He was a strange dude with crazy cosmic power. He was barefoot on a tiny skateboard and he had a sail contraption for power. His business card says "e-TäM-iK Skate Boards." "Custom boards hand crafted and pressed — mini board specialist." No web site. His crossed out his email and phone and hand wrote a different phone. I must buy one of his boards before I die for karma's sake. He's the type of dude that doesn't make himself easily found — i think he finds you if karma demands it.

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  4. I too am a TRUE believer, all in God's time....Great story Ches! :-)

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  5. Anonymous11:29 AM

    God is good and your faith is inspiring.

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thanks for commenting!