I have lost my share of “things”. That disappearing white sock lost in the dead zone of my dryer or the earring that mysteriously dislodged from my lobe. Keys, money and important documents; all misplaced by yours truly. Losing “things” is woven into the fabric of my being. I’m sure my family can retell stories when Mom was guilty of mindlessly throwing something of value in the garbage. There will undoubtedly be the hastag - #whereisit? etched on my tombstone. Every item lost is accompanied by some pain. And every hurt experienced usually offers a valuable life lesson.
Losing my ability to walk and even greater; losing power over my MS progression has been a tough pill to swallow. Such overwhelming loss can change ones attitude about “things”. It is not worth crying over or being angry when “things” are lost and out of our control. Because that is exactly what they are – “things”. It took living with an illness (very much like a death) to teach me this paralyzing reality. “Things” are just “things” – and over the years – “things” have become of minor importance to me.
So when the unthinkable “thing” was lost – I struggled with the lesson.
Becoming aware that the diamond on my engagement ring was missing from the setting on my finger, made me want to scream! I was frantic as I looked at the empty space where the promise of two young lovers once stood. I gasped at the opening, now vacant, where my precious gem had once shined. And then only sadness filled the void.
It was lost. And no amount of self-loathing, berating or anger would bring it back. I cursed and struggled for a few dark moments. Then I remembered it was only a “thing” and what held my sentiment could never be lost.
There is a story in the bible where questioners tried to trap Jesus. They wondered about giving tax money to Caesar. Jesus asked to see the coin and answered simply, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's". In my current situation I am comforted by this gospel story. My diamond’s value was man made and “of this world”. But the diamonds worth could never be greater than what it symbolized. Its loss comes with considerable pain but – my reaction to that loss – is truly how I glorify God.
“Things” will come and go - but faith will allow me to hold tightly to what is forever mine.