Saturday, March 2, 2013

On Losing Something

This morning I woke early for the farmers market. It was cold, and we don't dress up. But for some reason I decided to wear a favorite pair of earrings, a pair I bought 25 years ago in Poland. I cherish them. I thought fleetingly, "I hope I don't lose one," because these earrings tend to slip out of the ear easily. Still, I put them on and went my way.
It was a busy day. I did the market from 9:00-11:00ish. I went to a friend's house for some socializing and chatting. (She has, btw, the world's best stereo system, the old kind, with speakers as tall as I am, and a gorgeous lucite turntable. And she likes all the old music I like. But I digress.) I trotted on home, ate a late lunch, changed clothes, went on a church visit with Adam for a couple of hours, and came home to do some serious cooking for church tomorrow. I went in to change clothes and looked in the mirror, and I saw that thing all women dread to see.

I saw only one earring. The other one was  G  O  N  E .

When I was a younger woman, I'd have been more upset. But life is full of loss. In a way, life is about learning to lose everything but God, and then in the end you lose your own life too. I'm better at losing things. Those earrings were special; they were a small image of beauty from a far land that I'd loved, a reminder. How lonely that one earring looked! I sighed, and I hunted. Oh, I hunted. The house first. Then the car and driveway. I went back to the farmers market parking lot, and hunted all around. My friend with the great stereo saw me walking while staring at my feet and came over and asked what I'd lost. She promised to look at her house too.
It's not a huge parking lot. The sun was setting, and I decided to give up for the day. Adam made French onion soup for dinner, and I marveled a little inwardly at my lack of anguish and distress over the earring. It's better to hold on to this world's beauty with a limp hand.
This evening I had a little thought. What if, when I changed clothes later and took off my necklace, the earring had caught on the necklace? It's possible. This necklace hangs on a hook on my bathroom mirror. I stepped in the bathroom and looked at it. I fingered it gently for a bit, but there was no earring there, clearly. I let the necklace drop. Then I wondered a silly thought --
What if the earring had been on the necklace, but when I hung it up, the earring fell down, behind the lotion bottle, into the corner of the counter? (These are the silly possibilities that one considers in the mind, but they're never true. I'm the oddball who has to check though, because otherwise I'll always wonder.) So I picked up the bottle, and I heard a little clink as something fell down to the counter.

I reached into the dark corner, and there was the other earring.
I'm embarrassed to say that if I hadn't looked there today, I would not have found that earring until we moved from this house. I am not that much of a house cleaner.

I'm thankful. The first thing I did was thank God, because I attribute the find to him. I'm ashamed to admit that the second thing I did was wonder smirkily to myself about my own cleverness to find it. What a little puddle of sin we all are!

Thus is the saga of the lost earring. I'm happy to have the pair together again. Losing things distresses me because it's an ugly little reminder of how broken our world is. Things ought never to be lost -- not earrings, not books, not pets, not people. All things are meant to be found and known.  That earring could have been in literally dozens of places, but God decided the best place for it to be lost, and found, was my bathroom counter.  I felt His kindness when I found it there.


  1. I heard a heartbreaking sermon once on how we humans are Big Losers. We lose so much that God gives us, we have no idea how much we lose every day, in contrast to -- was it Samuel? -- of whom it was said that not even one word that he said fell to the ground.
    Truly it is God's grace that we keep or recover as many good gifts as we have, glory to His name -- He is so generous to us.
    I loved reading your whole story, and especially coming to the happy part where you find your earring! I have lost several earrings in my life and it is just a sad little reminder of the state of the world, as you say.
    God bless you, Dear.

  2. A couple of practical things:

    1. You could find those little rubber stoppers to put on the backs of the fish-hooks when you wear them to keep them from slipping out (common problem with heavier earrings).
    2. If you were to lose one earring in a set, you can always make a necklace pendant with the remaining one.

    I used to work in a bead store and enjoyed the beautiful things. Glad you found it though - my favorite set of earrings had one break beyond repair :(

  3. Oh, whew! I'm glad you found it!
    You had a very busy day, MK.

  4. Super story, and really enjoyed how you were keyed in on where to look. Seems the Lord was leading along the whole way. :) Happy for you!


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