Thursday, December 26, 2013

Impossible to Find

I lost an ear ring this week, going from house to house at the Anderson family's progressive Christmas dinner. In hindsight I knew that clasp had been slightly loose when I put it on. After the party I removed the left ear ring and when I went to remove the other all I felt was my bare earlobe. I freaked out!

The next morning Kent called his mom & siblings. They hadn’t seen it. We went to the church house to see if we could find it where the festivities had ended. Kent went inside to search, I looked in the snow where we had parked the night before. "Maybe it fell off out here." I thought as I strained to find it in the slush.

Deep inside, I knew it was hopeless. The only way I would get that ear ring back would be through the Lord. I said a silent prayer. It wasn’t the first time I had prayed to find jewelry.

When I was a child I lost a metal vending machine ring somewhere in the grass. I had been doing somersaults and cartwheels at the neighborhood park and climbing on the metal stadium benches. By the time I realized the ring was gone, the only lights to search by were the ones on the ball diamond. I raked the lawn with my fingers everywhere, summoned playmates to help me, praying earnestly, but I never found that ring. I finally gave up the effort and sadly walked home. I thought to myself that just because my prayer wasn’t answered this time that didn’t prove that God was not listening. I knew He was.

Now decades later I would ask Him again, and my prayer was just as simple. "Please, please, please help me find it." I admitted to the Lord that I knew I would never find it on my own, but I also knew that He knew precisely where it was. I asked if He would please put it in a place where I could find it and that if He did so I would call it a miracle.

We went home and I sent out emails with a picture of the ear ring to the nieces and nephews to whose homes we had been, siblings who would have cleaned up and might have found it and anyone else I could think of. It was still missing.

Then the next day I was at the "W-store" and I opened my wallet at the checkout counter and began fishing for some coins and there it was. The matching ear my coin purse. I couldn’t believe it. How could it have gotten there? I know I didn’t put it there. It couldn't have randomly fallen into the smallest possible spot in my purse, a coin pocket inside a wallet whose only opening is a tiny slit between the teeth of its zipper?

I went home for the other ear ring, and with both cradled in my hand I knew it was the miracle I had prayed for. Something impossible for me to accomplish was granted to me from a loving Heavenly Father and His Son. Something seemingly small and insignificant by comparison to the creation of galaxies unnumbered.

God can do all things, (even the smallest of things) for the good of his children. He is the Good Shepherd leading us home, caring for His sheep. God was listening when a child offered up her simple prayer for help long ago at a ball park, and to that same child standing in snow covered boots in a deserted parking lot talking to the only one who could really help. I am so thankful to the Lord for helping me find my special wedding day jewelry. I am thankful I know He is always listening. It has made all the difference in the world.