I’ve been thinking about lost things today.
This train of thought started a few weeks ago when Lily found an opal stone in our driveway. The stone had fallen out of my grandmother’s wedding band six months earlier, and I had given up hope of ever finding it. (I’d like to emphasize that this tiny, white jewel sat on our driveway for an ENTIRE WINTER of snow and ice only to be found by a three-year-old one warm, summer night. It was incredible.)
Then, this week, I lost one of my favorite earrings. I realized it was missing long after it had fallen out, and again assumed it was lost in one of the various cavities of our house.
Last night, Lily swooped in yet again. She picked up a very tiny, silver arrow stud from her bed and said, “Hey mom, is this your earring?”
(That kid notices the small stuff, let me tell you.)
So, I’ve been thinking about lost things today.
I love a good metaphor (old English teacher habits die hard), so I’ve been wondering in the broader scope what exactly the lost things in my life are. What are the things that need to be found?
That question took me to Luke 15 and the parables of the lost sheep, lost coin, and prodigal (lost) son. Every story follows the same structure: Something is lost. Something is found. A party is thrown in celebration.
Those lost things? They are people. Those lost who are now found.
About five minutes after I read those parables, I got a text message from my friend, Breanna, with an excerpt from Interrupted¹ by Jen Hatmaker (which seems to be wrecking her life much the same way it wrecked mine a year ago). Our conversation ultimately ended with her sending me this quote from The Tangible Kingdom² (as referenced in Interrupted):
Change must be about new, which to us means “fresh, bright, something that intuitively feels right, that causes us not only to dream but to move on our dreams.” That kind of new is good if it compels us into a world of faith again where we can battle fear and despondency with action that makes a difference. That kind of new is okay, but it really isn’t new. It’s just been hidden, or covered, or we’ve been distracted from it…
This type of new is about a returning. Returning to something ancient, something tried, something true and trustworthy. Something that has rerouted the legacies of families, nations, kings, peasants.
Something that has caused hundreds of thousands to give up security, reputation, and their lives…What we need to dig up, recover, and find again is the life of the kingdom and Jesus’ community..the church.
So, to summarize: I asked myself what the lost things in my life were and, 15 minutes later, I had all that sitting in front of me.
The answer to the question is people, most certainly, but, I think it also comes down to uncovering a life that brings me to those people. In the times when I start to get comfortable, God reminds me to dig up and recover the life of His kingdom now. To return to the true and the trustworthy which is really about finding ways to love people well each day.
It really is about rerouting. A willingness to give up security, reputation, and even the comfortable life.
Not easy. Easily worth it.
I’ll start by throwing a party in honor of all my found things. You’re all invited (and can hopefully help me find the library book that went missing a few weeks ago. That’s the one thing Lily is yet to uncover.)
¹ Hatmaker, Jen. Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity. NavPress, 2014.
² Halter, Hugh, and Matt Smay. The Tangible Kingdom: Creating Incarnational Community: The Posture and Practices of Ancient Church Now. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2008.