Luke 15:1-10 (NRSV)
Chapter 15Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. Verse 2And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, "This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them." Verse 3So he told them this parable: Verse 4"Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? Verse 5When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. Verse 6And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.' Verse 7Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. Verse 8"Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? Verse 9When 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.' Verse 10Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
In the book One Coin Found, Emmy Kegler weaves the parable of the lost coin into a memoir about her own faith story and identity. Emmy taught me how much it matters that one of the three "lost parables" is about an inanimate object, something still and waiting, unable to cry out, "I'm here! I'm right here! Come and find me! I'm sorry I got lost!"
Hearing her take on this brief parable has helped me to feel found in the dusty shadows of my life's story and the seasons of waiting. There is a God who will keep looking and looking and looking until I am found. And looking not only for me, but for all who are lost and unable to bleat for help or run back home. Alleluia!
Searching God, thank you for looking for us — everywhere and always. Amen.