Today’s post was written by a Deeper Still Team Member on the Central Illinois Deeper Still Team.
“Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’ Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:8-10
A coin has value. Maybe only a little bit by itself, but when paired with others, they can make a bountiful treasure. When it starts out, a coin shines. Polished and without blemish. But as it’s passed around, spent, tucked away, forgotten, found, reused, left in the yard, spent again…the wear begins to show. The edges get worn. The shininess fades. The image blurred. The people, who pass that coin around, think nothing of it. Just a means to get whatever it is that they need.
But what happens to a lost coin?
Contrary to most, I have an uncanny ability to find my way around. I’ll study a location on the map, find where I need to be, and memorize the way. If it’s a difficult route, I’ll use my GPS on the first trip. But, if I’ve been somewhere, even only once, I will never forget how I got there. Like my first trip to Italy. I memorized all the tourist maps, studied the streets and took so many photos. My second trip, I didn’t need a map or to plot routes. I knew exactly where I was, and where I wanted to be.
Even though I have this innate resourcefulness, which I’ll admit, my husband does not, I know what it’s like to be lost.
I spent 22 years of my life lost, and I didn’t even know it. Growing up in a small town was a blessing. I knew everyone and they all knew me. They knew me by my father. My last name was a name that has toiled in that little town for generations. “Oh you’re Keith’s girl,” I would hear all the time. My father is a good man. Hard worker. Like his father before him. Pride is attached to that name. So I never had a sense of not belonging. I never felt lost. I always knew where home was. And when I needed home it was always there.
Until one day, when a series of very bad decisions landed me in a hospital bed. I heard a whisper from a father to his child. “Are you done yet?” Only this wasn’t coming from the hall or the room next to me, the whisper was to me. This question was not one of condemnation for why I was there, but a question of love and concern. Awkwardly I said out loud, “yes.” This father reached down to his child, plucked out her heart of stone, and gave her a heart of flesh. And in that moment, I knew I had lived my whole life as a lost coin. And my father had just found me.
The new heart beating in my chest, made it obviously clear, what a worn coin I was. But this new clarity was not accompanied by fear. I knew now I was a worn lost coin, but that I made it back to the one who made me. That he scooped me up, put me in his pocket, took me home, and placed me gently into a box with all the other precious coins he’s found. And once in that box, I knew what it was like to truly be known.
Fellow coin. In this time of uncertainty and fear for many, know your worth. Know that when you were plucked up, in whatever state you were in, and brushed off by our Father in Heaven, the angels rejoiced with Him as he placed you safely in his arms. He is always with us, and never forsakes us. You are like the child known by all in a small town because of her father. You are loved, and cherished. And even though you were lost, you were found and restored to the one who made you. Walk in that certainty. Walk these troubling waters with that assurance. That the God, who made the heavens and the earth, has you found you and set you apart, for the day when he will restore ALL things to himself.
Father, thank you for your unfailing mercies. For seeking us out, and finding us wherever we were. Thank you for continuing to be with us, and never leaving us. As we walk these days and weeks of uncertainty, guard us and gird us with your truth. The truth that you are in control of all things. And that we are your treasured ones.