Thursday, February 7, 2013

Lost diamond, lost coin

Elle's Notebook,, Oct 10, 2012
Last weekend at the grocery store, the cashier ringing up my groceries tried over the phone to get one of her coworkers to help her look for a diamond from her ring that she had lost, since she was on duty and couldn’t look for it herself.   When she got off the phone, I asked her about it and she told me it was her best diamond.  I looked at the line behind me and it seemed like she wouldn’t get to search for her diamond for a while.

As I put my groceries in my car, I couldn’t stop thinking about her, so I went back and offered to help her search, but she didn’t know where in the store she had lost it.  “I’ve been all over the place in the store!  I don’t know where to look!” she said.  The idea flashed into my mind that she could ask for one of those big long broom pads that are slid around the floor to be used to sweep the store and then look through the pile picked up by it.   My idea seemed to give her some hope and she thanked me for it, saying she hadn’t been sure what to do or where to look.

As I drove away, I thought of Jesus’s parable of the lost coin:

Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? (Luke 15:8)

I thought about that parable and it seemed to me that we don’t often understand the woman’s anxiety to find her coin.  After all, our coins aren’t worth very much.  But what if we modernized the parable, making it about a woman with 10 diamonds in a ring, who had lost one?  Then we’d understand the sense of purpose she had and the care she took to search out that lost diamond.  A diamond might be a better analogy today for the worth of a soul.  

Can you better imagine yourself wanting to look for lost souls if you think of them as lost diamonds instead lost coins?   I can.