There are times when we discover lost things we didn’t know we were missing.
We all know the sinking; panicked feeling of realizing something we treasure is missing. I’ll never forget the feeling I had when I discovered a treasured wedding band was no longer sitting safely upon my finger. I searched to find it, but finally resigned myself to the reality it was gone—for good. There was disappointment—in having to tell me husband. There was shame—in having been so careless. There was emptiness—something that had become a part of me was gone.
It was in this experience that I finally was able to personally embrace the joy that Jesus described of a sinner who has finally been found by God as He related it to the woman who lost a treasured coin. When the coin was found, she calls her neighbors to rejoice with her. How silly, I used to think, that she would call her neighbors to rejoice over a silly coin. That’s only because I missed the point—the object of the parable is not the coin; it’s the woman’s joy.
There’s joy when something lost is found.
It’s a joy that anyone who has lost something understands. When something is lost, is portals us through time and place to the land of shadows and darkness. We imagine all the worst scenarios. What parent, upon momentarily losing a child in a park doesn’t let the imagination run lose through the hall of horrors? Yet, one will be immediately drawn back into the present with just a faint glimpse of the child. The joy of a parent reunited with a misplaced child will find no words to express the smile stretched out upon the horizon of the heart.
There’s inexpressible joy when something treasured has been lost, but now found.
There’s another kind of joy experienced when you discover something that you didn’t realize you were missing.
The last month has been a time of transition for me; returning home, after several years of working. I enjoyed the working. Even though it had life amped up on high speed, we all seemed to make do with it. It never really seemed the marriage was strained. The boys seemingly enjoyed a little extra freedom with mom not always being in the house. We had to prioritize, guard, and make adjustment for the important things, but they always seemed to happen—even if in a compromised negotiation of how they might have looked if we had more time.
This last month has been different. We’re quiet, relaxed, and more spontaneous. It almost seems like we’ve become more real, because after all, being real requires time and space for life to develop and breathe. Relationships done in a hurry can be easily shoe-horned into “what we ought to say right now” rather than “what we need to say.” It takes time to hear, understand, and respond to the need of another’s ‘realness.’
I realized today as I sat talking with the boys about life, and God, fourth dimensions, and the Nicene Creed (yes, the conversation really went something like that) that I was finding something I didn’t realize I had lost—I was rediscovering my children’s ‘realness.’ I was rediscovering the ‘realness’ of not having to rush off to something else, of baking cupcakes, of barbecuing at mid-day simply because we felt like it.
There is joy—deep, deep joy—in finding what you didn’t know you were missing.
Sometimes life gets out of control for us. It pushes us like impatient children at a drinking fountain to hurry at a speed for which we weren’t created. A couple of weeks ago I ran into a friend with whom I shared a Bible Study several years back and she reminded me of something I had said then (and forgotten), “God didn’t create us for hyper-speed. Relationships with God and others must happen at the speed a camel travels.” Indeed, we were created for camel travel! Are you speeding through life so fast that you too don’t even know what you’re missing?
Take some time to think about what you might be missing? Do you even know what is lost? Flash that blinker to the right and carefully merge out of the fast lane. Join me for some slow lingering with God and others.
Come discover the joy of finding what you didn’t know was missing!