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Honesty still exists today

Dr. David L. Chancey's picture

Maybe you missed the amazing story of Lindsey Scallan’s lost camera. I first saw it on Facebook on Palm Sunday when someone posted a Hawaii television station’s story about the hunt for the young lady who, six years earlier, had been vacationing and scuba diving in Hawaii.

Several weeks ago, her camera washed up on a beach in eastern Taiwan, over 6,000 miles to the west. A China Airlines employee was walking the beach when a wave brought what appeared to be a piece of junk onto the sand. It was a camera in a plastic case covered with barnacles, but, incredibly, the memory card was undamaged.

The man knew someone somewhere was missing their camera, so he took it to his employer, who contacted a local TV newsroom, which ran the story and then posted Lindsey’s pictures on the internet in hopes that someone somewhere would recognize this unidentified women.

This woman turned out to be Newnan resident Lindsey Scallan, who works part-time at a Fayetteville pharmacy.

It didn’t take long for a high school friend to see them on the internet, and send Lindsey a Facebook message that someone had found her camera.

She contacted the station, who interviewed her via Skype, and, suddenly the unassuming, low-key Lindsey found herself in the middle of a media barrage. National news outlets, local TV stations, newspapers from other nations, even a church page columnist wanted to talk to Lindsey.

“This whole thing is crazy,” she said. “It’s awesome, though.”

Unbelievable is more like it. The camera surfaces six years after coming off her wrist on a night dive and disappearing on the ocean floor near Maui. Then it travels more than 6,000 miles. It randomly appears before a man who is curious enough to want to find out who the owner is. Hawaii television grabs the story and runs with it and, thanks to social media, the owner is discovered and, in June, China Airlines will fly her free to be united with her camera, to be an honored guest of the Taiwan government, and meet the man who found her camera.

You can’t make this stuff up, and that’s why this story is what newspapers call a “feel-good feature.” It’s encouraging that someone cared enough to make it his mission to find the owner and return her camera.

“It just renews your faith in people. There’s so much negativity in this world. This is just a great fun story. There is good left in this world, and there are still a lot of caring people out there,” she said.

That’s a good word. In the midst of carjackings, robberies, home invasions, gang activity, job loss, and school closings, we need to hear about the good stuff, the kind of things that often don’t make the headlines.

Like the Austrian bus driver who last December made an unexpected discovery in the back of his bus — a bag containing nearly $510,000. Did he take the windfall? Yep, straight to the police station and it turned out to belong to a senior adult who recently withdrew her life savings.

Or the Las Vegas cab driver who found a laptop case stuffed with $221,510. The driver turned it over to his company’s security office. The owner returned to the cab office for his laptop bag, but rewarded the driver with a $2,000 tip.

Or the unemployed Minneapolis architect who found a 12-carat diamond ring and returned it. Mark Epple was catching a flight with his family out of Eagle County airport in Colorado when he picked up what he thought was a piece of costume jewelry lying on the sidewalk.

When he got home, his closer inspection revealed he had a huge diamond. He contacted the airport, got in touch with the ring’s owner, and returned the ring to the woman who lost it while dashing to catch an earlier flight. The ring slipped off, and she didn’t even miss it until she got home later that night.

After getting the ring back, the lady’s husband said, “I travel all over the world. This is extraordinary. It never happens.”

Actually, as these people found out, there are still some honest people out there who care enough to do the right thing.

[Dr. David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church, Fayetteville. The church family gathers at 352 McDonough Road and invites you to join them for Bible study at 9:45 a.m. and worship at 10:55 a.m. Visit them on the web at]

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