When Summer was about three or four years old, I found a little ring with a heart on it. It was simple and super cute so I bought it for her knowing that it would be too big for a while. The risk of it getting lost by slipping off her tiny finger was too great so at first, I would wear it on my pinky finger with a plan to transition it to her finger someday.
About two weeks ago, she saw the ring in my jewelry and pulled it out. She asked me about it and I explained why I had bought it in the first place. She tried it on every finger but it was still too big except for maybe her thumb. She was insistent that she wanted to start wearing it so I let her have it.
I pointed out to her the heart – she is well aware of my obsession with hearts – and that I hoped she would think of me whenever she looked at it.
Then last Thursday we set out in the morning to take Rafa on a walk around the neighborhood. While we walked and talked she would play with it and spin it around.
As we turned onto the street where our house is she stopped behind me and just stood there looking around while digging in her coat pockets. I called out for her to hurry up and come but when she ran up to me she looked panicked and scared. She told me she didn’t have the ring anymore.
Her big eyes looked up at me. Oh my heart. Honestly, I think she thought I would be mad or unsympathetic because, sadly, that can be my reaction too often. I stared deep into her eyes for what felt like forever.
Then calmly I asked her when she remembered playing with it last. In her response she was confident it had been on the last street that we had walked. I gently told her to take Rafa back to the house so I could go look for it.
Slowly I made my way up the street with my head down, moving from side to side, searching the sidewalk and the surrounding grass for something shiny as I walked. Around 200 meters down, it dawned on me that I may very well not find it on my way out and that I would have to walk back slowly like this to see if I could find it on my return.
This was going to take a while. I took a deep breath and told myself that I had nowhere to be, I was not in a rush, and this was important to Summer. Plus, I loved this ring for her…I really wanted her to have it.
I kept on searching and at around the 400 meter mark a lady was approaching me on her morning walk. She called out to me and asked if I was missing a ring. Yes!!!!!
I shouted it to her and she proudly told me she had found it and put it in her pocket. I ran up to her in my excitement and gave her an air hug since that was all that we could do amid Covid 19. She said she saw my head down and knew I was searching.
What a relief! I thanked her and headed home running. I couldn’t wait to tell Summer.
When I arrived she was in the backyard with Rafa and as soon as she saw me she anxiously asked, “Did you find it?” You can’t imagine how happy I was to walk over to her and pull it out of my pocket.
Her eyes lit up and we hugged. She put it back on as we walked inside and I told her about the amazing woman who had found it. What a day. What a moment.
Fast forward a few days and I was sitting on my couch in the peaceful dark of the early morning having my quiet time. I can’t even tell you what brought it to mind but this whole ring thing came back to me and I smiled thinking about it.
I kept thinking that there had to be a God story in there somewhere. And then it came to me.
I’ve been on a desperate search for about 9 months now to find out who God really is for myself. Just read the Bible and read the facts and figure it out. Amazingly, this played into that whole search.
I thought about Jesus and his parable about the lost sheep. It’s always bothered me that he left the 99 behind…they seemed less important but now after the whole ring ordeal I have a new perspective.
My goodness it was hard to tell Summer to stay behind and take care of Rafa. But I knew she was home and I knew she was safe. It wasn’t a risk and this would be ok to leave her behind. Besides, it wasn’t permanent. I would be back but I just HAD to look for the ring.
I imagine the shepherd looking at his 99, knowing they were secure in the field. He wasn’t leaving permanently. He would be back but he just HAD to go look for this lost sheep. It was far too precious to just ignore.
In Luke 15:5 it says,
“And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home.”
No joke, that lady must have thought I was crazy because immediately after finishing my thank you I turned and RAN home with a gigantic smile on my face. I couldn’t believe it had been found.
I bet the shepherd ran, too, with a big goofy smile on his face. He had probably wondered the likelihood of finding this one lone, lost sheep so to have actually done it??? He had to be so ecstatic. Verse 5 continues to say,
“Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’”
I’m guessing he shouted that…with a big grin.
When I got home my heart was racing because I knew Summer would be pumped. And then the two of us did an Instagram Live to share our story – that’s how excited we were. I can imagine the shepherd ran to his neighbors’ homes shouting for them to come over as soon as possible.
From now on, I think this will come to mind whenever I read the story of the lost sheep. Sometimes I’m that lost sheep. I’ve strayed, I’m lost, don’t know what I’m doing. But God knows how important I am to Him. He knows how important you are to Him.
So He goes out searching, slowly, patiently with His head down. Looking for something shiny.
Just because we are lost doesn’t mean we aren’t still beautiful.
Lost things still shine.
And my goodness, when He finds us He runs like the wind in excitement. He can’t believe it and He can’t wait to celebrate and tell everyone waiting back home.
He loved us before we ever went missing but the joy and peace He feels must be huge when something that could have been gone for good, comes back to where it belongs.
It makes me happy to think I have a God who feels that way about me.
Do you believe He feels that way about you? Does it make you happy to know He searches high and low for you and then runs back to show you off when He finds you?
I hope you can let that soak in today. Knowing that you are loved that much could really help your perspective. Especially if you are lost and waiting to be rescued.