The Parable of the Lost Check
“Suppose a woman has just received her family’s income tax refund checks, one state and the other federal, in the mail and she loses one. (She swears seeing it on the coffee table yesterday and cannot for the life of her find it today.) Won’t she and her husband turn on all of the lights they own and make a sweep of every room in their entire house, the garage and even the stinky trash bins, searching carefully until they find it? (They still haven’t found it, by the way.) Won’t they devote a whole evening to the search, in addition to the daylight hours the woman has already spent looking for this valuable piece of paper? Won’t the woman realize in the midst of this painstaking search that this very real process reminds her a lot of some parables Jesus told about looking for lost things?” (cf. Luke 15:8-10)
It’s amazing how quickly things can turn spiritual on us. There I was, watching my husband dig through the eggshells and empty takeout containers in our putrescent trash cans earlier this evening in search of our missing refund check that I thought I accidently threw away, when all of the sudden this search seemed very familiar. The refund check rescue operation we’ve embarked on sounds like Jesus’ parables about the unrelenting search for those who are “lost” and how profound the joy when they are “found.”
Sometimes, in the ruts of daily life, I can forget that I was once lost, pursued, found, rejoiced over. Forgetting that truth can also impair my sense of purpose. I forget that those who were found, rescued, and adopted get to join the search party. May we not forget our found-ness to the point that we neglect to be used of God in His search for the lost.