This is a tale that I’m happy I get to tell. Because sometimes we lose things and we believe they’re gone forever. The loss evokes all sorts of emotions from sadness to anger, frustration to guilt, negligence to irresponsibility. We toss around blame to cover up our grief and then we ignore the pain or stuff it away to downplay the hurt. Losing something is hard. Period.
A few years ago I was in Waco, Texas helping our youngest pack up her college years to start a post-grad life in Houston. I happened to notice that an important item was missing from her jewelry box–her 2009 State Championship Cheerleading ring. When I asked her about it, she said it had been missing for some time and she had no idea where it was. She had come to terms that the ring was gone–for good.
I remembered all of the hard work and dedication behind that ring. I could still hear the screams of joy when they announced her team as the State Champs. It may have been just a piece of jewelry, but it was also a symbol of perseverance, commitment, and heart. And even though I know the memory of winning State would always remain, the keepsake of that moment was now gone.
Fast-forward to last week. A message arrives via our high school athletics Facebook page. I happen to manage that page. Before I open the message I can see a photo embedded in the message–one of a familiar looking ring. I open the message and read a sweet note from a shop owner who found a ring in a purse she had bought for resale. She thought the ring looked important and she wanted to find the owner. Her diligence and research led her to the school’s Facebook page, and ultimately, the ring owner’s mother.
Today, I got the mail and opened a small package with the ring inside and a hand-written note that said, “Here is your ring! We are so happy that we were able to find you and get it back to you! So sorry it took so long!” Just because something is lost doesn’t mean it can’t be found. Remember the story of the prodigal son? His father rejoiced and threw a party, telling everyone, “My son was lost and is now found!”
Lately, I feel like a lot of things have been lost; Respect. Dignity. Courage. Hope. But then a message appears on Facebook from a stranger; someone who searched and took the time to bring a bit of joy and hope to someone she didn’t even know. And I rejoice in knowing that there is still a lot of good in this world if we just take the time to look around and find it.
One of my favorite quotes is from Paul Young, author of The Shack, “There’s nothing so broken that God can’t heal it. Nothing so lost that God can’t find it. He pursues us with relentless love–whether we want him to or not.”
Keep pursuing. Keep looking. Never, ever give up.–CK