Luke 15 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 callers her husband on the phone at work and exclaims: Rejoice with me, I have found my lost wedding ring!!! In the same way, I tell you there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.
It is just a plain gold band.
When my fingers swell up, I transfer it to a little finger to give my ring finger a rest.
My hands got cold taking out the garbage last night, and that is when I noticed it was missing.
So we searched the garbage.
I went through each piece in the recycling bin that I had just taken to the street.
With flashlight in hand, Bob meticulously searched the drive, the street, the sidewalk, the curb, under the cars, and the gutters.
I went through the trash, the laundry, the sink---everything I had touched. We both checked the Scrabble bag.
We looked high and low.
I had lost them once before in the dryer. My hands were cold, then, too, and I had not even felt them slip off. I have a larger one I bought at Walmart for when I cannot comfortably fit this one on my ring finger.
But, somehow, when either putting towels in the washer, or checking them, the ring slipped off my little finger, and made it through a few washings and high speed spinnings that rattle the whole house with jet-like humming.
There it sat. Sitting on the lip of the rubber sides of the washer by the drain. Waiting for me.
The whole time we were looking last night, a load was washing and sloshing and spinning.
It is not the ring I was married with.
Bob reminded me of that this morning when we gave the drive one more look with his headlights.
When Bob and I got married, I had forgotten to give the ring to the best man. So, in the middle of the ceremony, "with this ring" was my Dad's wedding ring, a huge, bevelled, platinum washer-looking bracelet. My Dad had noted the best man's face, and handed his forward as a substitute for the ceremony. "With this ring?" became our poise undoing. We all laughed, and to the chagrin of our first-time preacher (Bob's oldest brother)performing his first ever wedding, and who was so intent on his notes (as he had typed out every word lest he become flumuxed) that he had missed the ring exchange...he even asked us after if we had taken our vows seriously???
I found it. Thank you, Lord!! And the mix of tears and laughter had me doubled over. And I went straight to the phone. And told him who had helped me look. That is an hour we can never get back. Instead, it is an hour that said with his actions that he loved me, and he helped me look, and he did not berrate me for being a silly woman. Only encouragement, and assurance that it would be found...came from his lips.
Bad thoughts crowded my mind last night. My carelessness, the price of gold, my sloppiness, and of all days---when Bob's uncle had died. I wondered if I never found it, would the two be mixed forever in my mind. Because yesterday, we lost a jewel of a man, a silver shield; a golden baton has been passed to the next generation.