A couple of days ago I was trying to squash all my socks into the drawer where I keep them. Failing to get the drawer to shut I decided to start the spring cleaning (!!)and tipped the contents onto the bed. I found a lot of socks that needed to be thrown out but to my joy, right at the bottom, I found an earring I had lost some months ago. It was one of a pair given to me by my sister, which I have always treasured. When I realised one was missing I had searched high and low and eventually had given it up as lost for good. It may only have been something small, but I was so pleased to have found it- it put a big smile on my face and I was quick to share with David the good news!
That sense of joy and relief when finding something that you have lost is one we can all recognise. Usually in my case it is my car keys, and usually just as I am about to go out and need them-less so in these days of lockdown! Or that horrible feeling of realising that your bank card is not in your purse or wallet-and then finding it in your pocket!
I was thinking about this and it took me to that lovely trio of parables that Jesus told about the lost and found-the sheep, the coin and of course, the prodigal son. They are such familiar stories that we can pass over them without really engaging with the extraordinary yet fundamental truth they reveal. Put bluntly, we make God happy when we allow him to “find us” and bring us safe into his loving arms. God rejoices over us, as those who were lost but now wonderfully found. Like the woman with the coin, the shepherd with the sheep or the Father with his arms around his prodigal son, God delights in having us as part of his family- and rejoices over us daily when we turn to him. You and I, we can bring a smile to God’s face right now, by just speaking his name from our heart. Now that really is something to celebrate!