I’m thinking it could have been one of the “lost” parables. Right behind the one about the shepherd with the lost sheep, the woman with the lost coin and the father with the lost son.
And He spoke a parable unto them, saying, “and what woman, when she has lost her Canon PowerShot camera, does not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?”
OK, maybe I’m stretching it a bit. But the camera had been missing for months. And my apartment is not that big. Much searching. High, low, in, around, behind. I finally resigned myself to the fact that it was lost forever. Sad.
That’s probably why God couldn’t have included it in the parables. Those parables are about sticking with a search until you find whatever you’re looking for.
And I had given up the search.
So one morning last week I was looking for a tote bag to haul some stuff to work and found the one I usually take to the beach. It’s summery orange and pink and yellow plaid canvas. When I picked it up, it seemed a little heavy when all that was inside was a plastic fork and some sand. Apparently that lovely summer plaid successfully camouflaged a hidden pocket on the side of the bag.
And there it was. The missing camera.
I love finding lost things. Especially when it’s something that’s been gone for a while. That’s why I like those “lost” parables. I love that the Shepherd looks for and finds the lamb that wandered too far from home. I love that the father runs to welcome the son who did some wandering of his own.
I love that God doesn’t give up a search. I love that He keeps looking for the lost ones so He can bring them home. And in the same way He knew where my camera was all along, He knows where His lost sheep and prodigal children are.
And for the ones I’m praying for, that’s quite a comforting thing to know.
What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? Luke 15:4
Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds ? And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’ Luke 15:8
Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. Luke 15:10
For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. Matthew 18:11
I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick; Ezekiel 34:16