I lost one of my gold and opal earrings. It’s very small, about the size of a ½-inch metal nut. After attending years of Christian schools and universities with a no-jewelry policy, and working with schools, universities, and a ministry with the same dress code, I found myself laid off, without a job in this Great Depression of the 21st century. Honestly, one of my first thoughts as the shock of being jobless set in was, “Woo-hoo, now I can get my ears pierced and no one will censure me as a Jezebel.” So I did get my ears pierced for the first time at age 50, and I can finally wear the little earring sets that were given to me over the years, that have languished in my jewelry box.
I discovered the loss at about 10 pm yesterday, after I'd come back from a short walk to the mailbox, and from rolling the wheelie bin to the street for trash collection. Mundane tasks, to be wearing pretty jewelry, I suppose.
I took out the flashlight and retraced my steps in the dark, walking back to the mailboxes with a side-to-side scan of the flashlight, and looking in the gravel around the trash cans where I'd moved them. I searched the front courtyard, where I’d watered my plants, but all I found were weeds to spray in the daylight. Back inside, I searched the floors and rugs like a CSI technician, looking for a sparkle of gold. I shook out my bedding, and looked in the clothes I'd worn earlier to see if the earring had got stuck in the fabric.
THEN I prayed that if God cared about my missing earring, would he please let me find it. “It's just vain adornment, according to what I was taught, and not important when one considers earthquakes, tsunamis, nuclear meltdowns, or killer tornadoes. Not important, when one considers the economy that’s flushed irrevocably down the sewer. Closer to home, how does this loss compare to the ongoing lack of a job, the family member with a terminal disease, the relationships that are broken, the hope that’s been lost. It's not like Jesus' parable* of the woman who lost a tenth of her savings and searched and cleaned the house to find it—it’s just a little piece of jewelry. But you know, if you care that I care, please let me find my earring.”
I put away the flashlight and locked up the house for the night. An hour later, I went to bed and stepped barefoot on my little earring. (It didn't hurt, as the pin was closed.) It had been on the far side of the bed where the bedtime dog treats are. My lesson is that God cares that I care—maybe earrings don't matter, but my feelings do matter to God.
My friends, thank you for your prayers! I don't think that God answers certain requests because all the “pray-ers” have collectively sent enough energy that they’ve reached some cosmic quota; or that righteous people are more favored than others in their requests. I don't know why he is silent on some things, and shows his hand on others. But it sure does good to the human heart to know that other human beings care enough to take issues to God in intercession for their friends and family. It benefits both the pray-er and the pray-ee. Please continue to pray for the truly important issues, and remember me sometimes when you do.
It does me good to know that the Creator of the universe sent me some love, and some hope that he’s working on my other issues; and at the same time, blew a raspberry at the man-made, non-scriptural “adornment” code. Haha!
Rejoice with me and the angels of God; I have found my lost bauble!
* The Parable of the Lost Coin—Luke 15:8-10
“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”