Late Saturday morning, my daughter, Hannah, called, asking, "Mom, does Dad have a metal detector?"
Her husband had been doing yard work. While throwing branches into the scrub pile, he heard a clinking sound. He looked down at his left hand and realized that his wedding ring had just taken a flight into the waist-high leaf pile.
"I'll head over there with Dad, and we can all look to try and find it," I said.
When we arrived, Hannah's husband was not there, but at the hardware store to purchase a metal detector.
The arctic vortex had blown through the day before and was hovering over the southeast. Each attempt at playing detective ended up as a tease. Shiny ice crystals on the underside of leaves gave us momentary glimpses of hope.
The vigil had lasted about an hour by the time Hannah's husband returned with a metal detector. The four of us and one very chilly chihuahua all scratched the ground, digging for the shiny treasure.
The metal detector beeped and buzzed, turning up only pieces of metal and washer-type hardware. It would be dark soon, and it was getting colder.
Another hour later, we were down two detectives and a chilly chihuahua. My son-in-law patiently swept the metal detector back and forth in an area outside of our imagined scope. I took a stick and slowly lifted a layer of leaves. Another scan over a pile of leaves returned a solid buzz. Slowly, carefully, a section of leaves was lifted, and again, a solid, loud buzz from the metal detector.
More ice. Louder, longer buzz. Another section of leaves was swept aside when I saw another shiny flash. There, sitting almost like someone had placed it perfectly on top of a leaf, was his wedding ring! "We found it!" we yelled in jubilation. We both thanked God out loud in the backyard for having found the lost wedding ring. I texted my daughter and my husband, who were warming up inside the house: "FOUND IT!" Immediately, I saw them come running out of the house to see for themselves and to join in the celebration of finding the lost ring.
Jesus' parable of the lost coin came to mind. I know that in our case, it was a ring, but I believe that the message here was quite clear:
Luke 15:8-10 – 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. (NIV)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, just like the woman who lost a valuable coin and searched diligently until she found it, You search out lost sinners until You find them. Thank You for loving us. Enable us to assist in Your search! Amen.
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