2019-10-23 - Lost and Found
It was a warm autumn day, and people gathered to celebrate with a couple who were committing their lives to one another. They filled the small college chapel and awaited the bride to be brought in to begin the ceremony. There were a couple brief delays, as often happens with weddings. First there was the true rumor that the bride forgot her veil, and the groom went to retrieve it. Next was an incident with a fabric steamer and the wedding dress - already wrapped around her. And finally, before the journey up the steps and down the first path of the marital journey, they were all awaiting the bride’s Uncle who was incorrectly rumored as wearing no pants. But instead, he brought the wrong pair of pants - jeans, in fact. At least, it gave rise to a smile that bode well in photo of that moment she walked toward her soon-to-be husband, patiently waiting her..
That memory snippet was part of a day I cherish. It is some of what comes to mind when I see my wedding ring. Imagine my surprise when waking up this past Monday, and realizing after breakfast, that it was missing. In my mind, I replayed my steps from the evening before,and remembered walking to the kitchen after getting cleaned up, and retrieving it from a dish on the counter behind the sink area go-to spot other than my jewelry box. I realized I had not put it back on after doing yard work, when I was about to put lotion on my hands. I still, though, do not recall the act of slipping the ring back on my finger. I was not myself at the time, rather worn out. For the next twenty-four hours or more, I scoured every inch of the upstairs, thinking of any place it could be. At a certain point, I became mortified after nearly three decades of wearing it, with only the occasional removal for safekeeping. Later that day, after also becoming disturbed by areas in the house clearly needing vacuuming, I set off to make myself more useful for a bit, and taking my mind off things. I started in the back bedroom and was praying to God about showing me where the little treasure was, in the timing best-suited to me. I got to the last spot to complete that room, and a horrific clanging began coming from the bottom of the vacuum - as if the machine were coming apart. I quickly turned it off and raised the bottom, and there was my wedding ring! Relief and joy filled my heart, yet I also realized it is more to me than merely a symbol of our love; it’s a circle encompassing one of the hands that is part of cherished memories. We chose the rings together. We chose the date we wanted to start our life together. We chose where we would go first on a honeymoon. It was a big part of the history we started as a couple, following a sordid past of starts and stops before we ever exchanged those rings. It was us coming full circle to what was clearly our destiny in God’s will, six years after we met. And so I will remember this added bit of the story - all over again in years to come - the joy of finding that precious symbol of two lives becoming one.
“Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep..’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” (Luke 15:3-7 NIV)
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All scripture references are from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise noted.