“Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:8-10
In December of 1967, when my dad was in his junior year at The Citadel, he wanted to give my mom something special for Christmas. He grew up in a working-class family and didn’t have much money to spend. He was in love with my mom and their dating relationship was getting “serious”.
My dad drove to downtown Greenville to shop for the perfect gift at Cochran Jewelry Co. When he saw the gold locket in the display case, he knew that he had found just the right gift for my mom. He asked the jeweler to engrave my mom’s initials on the outside of the locket and “Love, Bobby” on the inside. When he returned for the locket, he realized that he had misread the price. The price of the locket was much more than he was prepared to pay. My dad put all of the money he had to his name toward purchasing the locket for my mom. To this day, one of the most (if not the most) cherished possessions that my mom owns is her locket.
Several years ago, when my mom was settling into bed, after being away on a work trip with my dad, she reached to remove her locket. To her horror, her locket was missing. She began to panic. Suddenly my mom remembered that she had removed her locket and set it on the nightstand in the Hotel the night before. She was completely distressed but my dad told her not to worry. The next morning my dad called the Hotel in Cincinnati. He left a lengthy message explaining the whole ordeal on the manager’s voice mail. A couple of hours later, when my mom and dad returned home from church, a voice message from the hotel manager was waiting for them. The manager said, “Mr. Hamby, I am so sorry to inform you that we have turned your room upside down but have been unable to find your wife’s locket.” My mom was crushed to say the least.
This story is all too similar to the overarching story of our lives. We are God’s most prized possession. He created us after His own image, in His very own likeness and crowned us with glory and honor. He gave us this beautiful garden to live in and enjoy for His glory and our good.
But, we wanted something altogether different. We didn’t want to serve God, we wanted to be God. We wanted the garden without God in it. Because our first parents acted on their sinful desires, sin and death have come to all men and women. As a result, we have lost fellowship with God. We have wandered away from our Creator and are lost in sin and misery. We have no hope, in ourselves, of recovering our face-to-face fellowship with God.
The manager’s voice mail did not deter my dad from finding my mom’s locket. He was determined to do whatever it took to get it back. First thing Monday morning, my dad called Mr. Bartlett, the CEO of the company where he worked. Mr. Bartlett knew just what to do. He notified Gidi, his administrative assistant about my mom’s lost locket. He told Gidi that the hotel needed to look a “little harder.”
Gidi was a “no-nonsense” kind of woman to say the least. She had a way of getting things done and getting her message across, even to people who were hard of hearing. Gidi marched right down to the hotel and addressed the hotel manager face to face. She told the manager, in no uncertain terms, that she would wait at the front desk while someone found the locket. She said, “I’m not leaving until the locket is found.” Strangely enough, the manager returned within the hour, locket in hand. The manager told Gidi that my mom’s locket had “mysteriously” found its way into one of the housekeeper’s pockets. Needless to say, my mom was overjoyed to get back her prized possession.
The Bible says something similar about us. God the Father sent His one and only Son to seek and save His lost creation. God paid the ultimate price, the death of His only Son, to recover us, His prized creation. “O Love that will not let me go, I rest my weary soul in thee.”