Monday, March 30, 2009

Lost and Found

“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Luke 15: 8-10

I knew immediately that it was gone. My hand felt lighter. Although it weighs much less than an ounce, I could feel at once something was missing. I looked at my left hand and a pain pierced my heart. My diamond was gone.

My wedding ring had a gaping hole. It must have come out while I was packing my groceries. I searched through every bag I had put into the minivan. It had to fallen off while I was putting the groceries in the bag because I would have noticed it was missing when I paid the cashier. I would have noticed it was missing when I picked up the yogurt or sorted through the chickens.

I had known for a while that one of the mountings was broken. I intended to get it fixed, but it seemed like it could wait. One mounting was missing but there were still four others holding it down. I would have it remounted one day, but there were so many other things that needed to be done. I could live with a missing mounting. It would get fixed one of these days.

But now it was gone.

I remembered when my husband gave it to me. A pear-shaped diamond. It was just what I wanted. I remembered how much he sacrificed to buy it. His sacrifice was something that I appreciated more and more over the years as I understood how much it cost not only financially, but emotionally for him to invest in. I tried to remember it was just a thing. But I said, “God, I loved that ring.” I loved what it represented.

The tears flowed as I drove home. I prayed. And I made up in my mind to look through every bag again when I got home.

I thought about the parable in the Bible about the woman who lost her coin. Palestinian women received ten silver coins as a wedding gift. Besides their monetary value, these coins held sentimental value like that of a wedding ring, and to lose one would be distressing. The coin was precious. My ring was precious to me. I thought about how much more precious my children and husband, my family and friends were than the ring. The ring could be replaced. Those people and relationships could not be.

But I still wanted my diamond.

I was starting to feel that it was hopeless and pointless, but I still emptied my pockets. I emptied my purse. I sat on my family room floor and carefully searched every bag, even the ones I knew that the cashier had packed and not me. I came to the last bag. It was a double bag. I searched the inside bag. Nothing. But I felt a little chip between the bags. It was probably just a food particle. It couldn’t possibly be my diamond. A flicker of hope.

I reached down and there it was-- a small clear stone. Thank you, Jesus! I cried. I shouted. I rejoiced. What was lost had been found. I immediately went to the jewelry store to have the stone remounted into my ring. I told the associate at the jewelry store about finding my lost diamond.

“It’s a miracle,” she said. She informed me that it would cost a little over a $100 to repair the ring, but to replace the stone would have cost thousands.

She said that the ring would be back in a week and while they were repairing it, they would also resize it, clean it and polish it. “It will be as good as new,” she promised.

Just like my ring and the coin in the parable, people are precious to God. Precious does not just mean something is valuable. But is valuable because it is valued by the owner. Jesus Christ bought us with his own blood. We really weren’t worth much. Just dust. But God valued us and loved us so much that He gave His only begotten son.

The tears rolled down my cheeks in the car as I drove home from the grocery store that day, mourning the loss of my diamond. My tears flowed for a lost stone. But how often do I cry over lost souls who are dying every day? Do I weep over the souls of men? Jesus wept when his friend Lazarus died. Jesus cried over the city of Jerusalem. Do I mourn for those who leave this world without knowing the greatest love of all? Do I put off telling a friend about the love of Jesus, figuring I’ll get around to it one day? Do I not properly appreciate the value of people’s lives and their need for Christ?

Jesus sacrificed his very life for our salvation. He paid the price. We were small, but he valued us and made us valuable. Through his blood, he made us brand new. My lost diamond had taught me a valuable lesson. I need to cry more. But after I’m done crying, I need to get up and diligently seek the lost.

1 comment:

Eugenia Drye said...

Very moving story, especially since me and hubby just celebrated our second anniversary.

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