Posted by: susanideus | January 7, 2007

What was lost is found

About ten days ago, I noticed that I had only one earring when I normally have two — in the second or upper piercings of my ear lobes.  For that spot, I wear small silver studs.  Figuring I had pulled it out changing clothes I searched all through the house to no avail.  To be honest, I really had no idea when or where I’d lost it.  I even spent some time cleaning my car — a good thing to do anyway since it needed it. Still no earring.  I found a pair of small earrings in my jewelry box that I could use, but they have a colored stone, and being the anal person that I am, I missed the blend-with-everything quality of the plain silver ones.

While we were out running errands today, and stopping at one of our favorite haunts, Barnes and Noble, I popped in to a nearby store that I knew to carry a good selection of sterling silver earrings.  They didn’t have exactly what I wanted, but I purchased two pair that I knew would work.  Not wanting my poor husband to “suffer” over long outside, I hurried back to the car.  I opened the door and opened my mouth to say something about the poor service in the store, when I saw something on the car mat glittering in the sun.  You guessed it — the lost earring.  Sigh…  I offered to take the new ones back but Harold allowed as how I should keep them rather than keep him waiting in the car for a second time.

Now, I know this isn’t an overly amazing story, but something similar happened many years ago, and it came to mind today.  The stakes were a little higher — I lost my wedding ring set.  I got to work one day and noticed I wasn’t wearing them. I was devastated when searches of home, car and work yielded nothing.  I didn’t know if they had somehow slipped into the trash somewhere; I had no clue.  They weren’t loose on my finger. I went over and over in my mind how it could have happened.  I rarely took the rings off. I had lately, though, as I was trying a new hand cream, and I would take the rings off to clean them occasionally as the cream clung to everything.  Horrors, I thought I might have even knocked them into the toilet as I was applying make-up and lotions in the morning before work.

I was working at a locally-owned department store in Albuquerque, and had done so for many years.  Every day was the same.  Drive to work, park the car, go into work — same routine, same parking place.  The day I lost the rings, I let all my co-workers know they were lost, but they could do no more than sympathize with me, and they offered to look around but I didn’t really think I’d lost them there.

At the same time, I was part of a small Bible-study group.  The next time we met, I asked if it would be OK to pray about the missing rings.  I didn’t think I was being too materialistic, since what I missed most was the emotional attachment of the rings, the sentimental value.  So, we did pray about the situation. Mostly, I prayed to be at peace about the loss, and to try to not to berate myself so much for being careless.

Still, weeks went by, and I finally accepted that my rings were gone forever.  Harold was wonderful about it.  He said we were still just as married, and one day we would get matching bands.

One October morning, a co-worker called me on the phone and asked if I could come see her in her office.  I walked back, wondering what she wanted.  I admit to being a little impatient as I was thinking of the busy day ahead.  Lou said she had something she thought I should see.  She held out her hand, opened it slowly, and there were my rings.  Talk about a shock!!  She proceeded to tell me that when she parked her car and got out that morning, she dropped her keys.  She bent over to pick them up and saw something glittering in the sun, down in a crack in the parking lot — my rings!  She didn’t really think they were mine after all the time that had passed but she wanted me to see them just in case.

Notice I said this was an October morning.  It had been in April that I lost the rings.  Months of laying in that parking lot, which happened to be attached to an abandoned building.  We just used it for our employee parking because it was convenient.  There was just no telling how many cars had been in and out of that lot in those six months, no doubt even parking on top of that very crack in the pavement. There was no mark on the rings; they hadn’t been flattened by being run over; they were in perfect shape.  They must have been in just exactly the right position to be protected.  All I could work out in my mind was that I had taken the rings off in the car for SOME reason and they had fallen to the ground when I got out.  Why no one had seen them before was a mystery — maybe the angle of the sun was just right just that morning…

I still think of this as a minor miracle!


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