Finding what is lost

Our daughter Heather asked me to pick up their daughters Annabelle and Violet at her work at 5 p.m. today, because she didn’t get off until 5:30 p.m. and Annabelle had to be at a basketball game at her school by 5:45 p.m.

Heather also loaned me her house keys, so I could stop by their house and get Annabelle and Violet a snack before they went to the game, so they wouldn’t be hungry during the game.

But somewhere between Heather giving me the keys and me helping the girls get their seatbelts on in the car, I lost the keys. I looked in the parking lot, my coat pockets, my purse; the girls helped me to diligently search the car’s backseat. They were nowhere to be found and now Annabelle was going to be late to the game.

I called Heather to tell her the news and asked her to see if someone had found them inside the school and had dropped them off at the front desk with the receptionist. Soon Heather came out in her blue teacher’s smock, nearly running on the sidewalk, and got into her car.

Her own special parking place: Heather was employee of the month!

I pulled out of the parking place and up close to her “Employee of the Month” parking place (go, Heather!), calling her on my cell to see if they’d found the keys. Heather didn’t know that was me behind her car, and was saying, “Come ON!” into her phone, looking into the rear-view mirror. I then said, “Hello?” and she realized it was me, waiting for her to pull out and go.

“Did someone turn in the keys? Do you have them?” I asked. “YES!” she said, and raced off in her red Kia car. Heather ALWAYS races off. Since she got her license at 16, she’s had a lead foot. It is a miracle she has never had a speeding ticket. She also races when she walks anywhere. I have to practically run whenever I go shopping with her.

As Heather left tracks, Violet’s sweet voice then piped up from the backseat: “Wait, Nana! My seatbelt isn’t on!” In the excitement of the girls doing a treasure hunt for the keys in my car, Violet had not buckled her seatbelt again after we couldn’t find the keys. So I had to make sure she was strapped in first, and then tried to catch up with Heather.

The excitement was just beginning…

The next thing I thought I lost was my cell phone when we went to A & W restaurant after the game.  I seem to lose things a lot, especially just when I need them: my keys, my phone, my debit card. Invariably I find whatever it is a few minutes later, usually in my purse, pocket or somewhere that it’s supposed to be. My family is used to the fact that every few weeks I start nearly panicking, thinking that I have lost something again and they have to help me look for it. It’s not forgetfulness; it’s disorganization.

Violet and Belle at A & W

Nobody can find ANYTHING in my purse, no matter how big of a purse I buy: there’s my wallet, coupons, receipts, Sharpie pens, keys, shiny lip gloss, black or brown eyeliner (eyeliner is one of my STAPLES!), lotion, loose change that spilled out of my unzipped zebra-striped change purse, extra contacts in the event of an earthquake or tornado, compact green mirror (gift from my friend Shelley Valasek), address book, Free Massage gift certificate from my sister Maria which I need to book with my masseuse, etc.

I am organized to a fault when it comes to my to-do lists, organizing cabinets and drawers, obsessively lining up my shoes in a row, but my purse and our car are a different story. Maybe my purse and our car are my one area of rebellion against organization. My one “messy” space where chaos is free to reign at will. Usually whatever I have lost is buried under the contents of it.

Often as I’m madly searching for the lost item, especially when I’m short on time, I hear the Holy Spirit’s gentle, calm whisper, “It’s in your purse,” because God knows I’m on the verge of what Rhett Butler called Scarlett O’Hara’s “crying jag.”

My crying jags are NOT a pretty sight. And my debit card or phone or whatever I’ve lost is right there, just as God said.

I finally found my phone at the A & W; it was in my purse.

Does God really do these things – help people find lost items?

You betcha. God is so good at finding the lost.

If you feel lost, uncertain, confused, or hurt, God will find you. He’s looking for you – to show you how much He loves you.

“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!

“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins[a] and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and sweep the entire house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbors and say, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.” (Luke 15: 4-24, NLT)

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