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.
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.
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 --
I reached into the dark corner, and there was the other earring.
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.