Thursday, July 3, 2014

Once I was lost, but now I'm found!

Sometime a long time ago, Joni Mitchell sang, ‘You don’t know what you got till it’s gone!’
and I’ve just experienced another depth of this truth.
This morning I ‘lost’ Erica’s wedding rings.
The rings that sealed our ‘I do’s’ 35 years ago this July 7th.
The rings that embodied God’s never-ending love and faithfulness to us and we covenanted to one another that day.
The rings the police gave me on New Year’s morning, the day they’d found her.
Her most important tangible, physical memories left to me.
And now I had lost them!
Before I left on the Teen Challenge Missions trip through northern BC a couple weeks ago, I’d made double sure I put them in a really safe place, where no potential thief could steal them, like had happened to her jewelry when our house was broken into last year. In fact, this evidently had been such a safe place that even I couldn’t find them!
And try as hard as I might, I could not remember where this ‘safe place’ was.
I looked everywhere. My favourite hiding spots: shelves, drawers, closets, behind books, wherever, whatever?
And that’s when I lost it. How could I be so responsible to protect something that I’d lose it?
Waves of emotion, loss and tears crashed over me and I felt the weight of their crushing impact!
My search grew desperate, frantic: upstairs, downstairs, kitchen, even behind the hot water heater! Who’d ever think of looking there, let alone hiding something there? Even time got lost in what must have been at least a half hour swirl of intermittent loss, panic, and ‘Not again!’ hopelessness.
And when I had exhausted virtually every possible ‘hiding place’ I could think of , like where would no one, including me, think of looking for these priceless objects?
… the phone rang.
The phone was the last thing I wanted to deal with. I was in no shape to answer, ‘Oh, I’m fine!’ and talk about the weather. I checked the Call Display and didn’t recognize the number at all. But something nudged me to answer, so I did. An unfamiliar, business-like voice proceeded to tell me I had a text message and informed me I had to press ‘1’ if I wanted to receive it. Those who know me know I do not text, and my landline doesn’t generally offer that service anyways, but I figured,
‘Why not? Maybe I’ve won a Caribbean cruise or the lottery? Nothing else means too much right now.’
So I pressed ‘1’ and the same business-like voice sounded out this message:
‘Henry, just wanted you to know I love you and am praying for you right now.’
And that was it. That was all. I stopped. I took the message in.
And suddenly a light came on and I saw a place? a space?
… and I raced to where I saw… the box I was looking for, with Erica’s rings secure inside!
Joy and a fresh appreciation of finding Luke 15’s lost sheep, lost coin and lost son all flooded and washed over me at once. God had just phoned me at my crisis point, reached me through some sensitive, kind but anonymous member of this supernatural body of Christ called His Church, and spoken faith, hope and love into me at my necessary moment. Enough so the light could shine through, reveal what had been lost, and restore peace to my soul.
Definitely a supernatural start to my day!
Thank you to whoever texted me: your prayers work!
Thank you, Lord of all rings: You answer prayer!

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