Jesus loved to tell stories to illustrate His points. This was to make His lessons more relatable and understandable to His listeners while He explained complex spiritual concepts, mostly about the Kingdom of God. One such story is The Parable of the Lost Coin, which can be found in Luke 15:8-10. You can press play on the audio below to proceed if you prefer, by the way. Feel free to download and share also:
In this story Jesus tells of a woman who had ten coins but then lost one in the house. In her desperation to find this coin, she lights a lamp, sweeps the house and searches carefully until she finds it. Once she does, she calls all her friends and neighbours together saying “Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!”
A while back I had a very similar experience to the woman in this story. I lost the only piece of jewellery that I wear on an everyday basis- a ring that my aunty gave me for Christmas about 3-4 years ago. She is the mother of an extremely close friend of mine, whom I think of as a little sister so that ring had great sentimental value.
The day I realised it was missing was a day that began like any other. I got up, got ready for work and went to do the last thing I always do in the final bit of my routine- put my ring on. I have a habit of taking my ring off when I come back from work and putting it on a side table in my living room; so that’s exactly where I looked but it wasn’t there. You’d think I would have panicked immediately but I didn’t. That side table is near my sofa so I just assumed that the ring had rolled underneath, which had happened once or twice before. I knew that if I stopped to look at that moment I’d be late for work; so I left without my ring and continued about my day.
Worry only set in when I came home from work, looked under the sofa and still couldn’t see my ring. “Ok…maybe I left it on my kitchen counter” I thought to myself. “I could have taken it off when I did the dishes last night”. But it wasn’t there. “Did I leave it on my chest of drawers in the bedroom?” But it wasn’t there either. “Oh! It’s in the bathroom then!” You guessed it, it wasn’t there either.
At this point I called another friend of mine. I had slept over at their house over the weekend (which was the day or so before); so I figured that I’d probably left the ring at theirs by accident. This is when the panic set in- the moment they said that they hadn’t seen my ring but would keep a look out for me. When I got off the phone, I closed my eyes and covered my face with my hands. “It could be lost forever,” I thought to myself. That’s when the panic set in!
I then did exactly as the woman in the parable did. I searched the whole house for this ring! I was back under the sofa, I looked under my coffee table, I searched every corner of my kitchen, I shifted every moveable item in my bathroom and my bedroom looked like a bomb site by the time I’d finished with it. Finding that ring became my top priority that evening; yet still I couldn’t find it. I fought the urge to cry by reminding myself that it could still turn up at my friend’s house and went to bed exhausted.
I never realised that I had developed habits centred around my ring, other than wearing it, until it got lost. You know how some people have a habit of playing with their hair absentmindedly? It turns out that I had a habit of running my fingers against my ring. You see, it’s a solid gold chunky ring with patterns engrained in the gold. I liked that texture, it turns out, but every time I went to rub my ring I’d be faced with the bear flesh of my finger and end up feeling a pang of loss mixed with anxiety. But I continued to hold out hope that my friend would get back to me and tell me it had been found.
Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. I got a phone call 2-3 days later telling me that it wasn’t at their house. Sensing my deflation, they said I could always get another ring. All I could muster was something about the fact that the ring was of sentimental value and couldn’t be replaced. I couldn’t explain the fact that any other ring wouldn’t feel like MY ring- both literally and figuratively.
I was busy the next few evenings after work so I didn’t have time to look for it again but as soon as I got a free moment over the weekend, I looked again. I figured that since I was less emotional this time, I’d be in a better place to find it. I did all rooms again and still couldn’t find it! I sat down on my living room sofa dejected and on the verge of tears when I felt a prodding to look under my coffee table again. It’s glass with quite thick metal legs so this time I decided to look behind each leg instead of just straight under the table, if that makes sense? I did each leg in turn and when I got to the fourth, there it was! I hadn’t been able to see it before because I tend to keep the table covered with a cloth.
I don’t think I can even explain how happy I was to have my ring back on my finger. I did a happy dance. I praised God. I voice noted my friend and sent them some incoherent message about the fact that I’d found it and how happy I was. I think I sang that message actually! Needless to say, I was elated.
So now, when I read The Parable of the Lost Coin, I read with a fresh understanding of how the lady in the story must have felt- both when her coin was lost and when she found it. However the experience of losing my ring did not just give me a better understanding of this fictional character, it also gives me a better understanding of God. For Jesus said in Luke 15:10 that in the same way that both this woman and I rejoiced over finding our lost items, “there is joy in the presence of the angels over one sinner who repents”.
So what about you, lovely? I hope you realise from this story how much God loves and values you? He misses us when we are missing from His presence, whether willfully through backsliding and choosing to go back to worldly ways or due to being too busy to pray and study the word as we used to. When we are “lost” in this way He feels exactly as I did when I lost my ring- He hurts, He feels a pang, a sadness and sense of loss. He misses the routine and habits that we built around Him too. Just like I only wanted MY ring, He wants you because you are HIS child. You are not insignificant to Him. He died to be in relationship with His people. Restore His joy and that of heaven by:
- Going back to your first love for God
- Helping somebody else to discover that love for themselves
For tips about the latter: