Pursuing the abundance of a closer walk with Christ

Finders-Keepers


   Jewelry, like fashion, has trends and styles that come and go.  Most jewelry-divas are familiar with the Journey necklace and its subtle serpentine curve of rhinestone or diamonds. The Circle pendant is not only shaped as thus, but represents unending love and is designed with similar types of stones.  Who would think the cocktail ring of the 40’s and 50’s would become the current fad?  Today, the amazon-bauble is worn on the middle or index finger as part of everyday attire or on special occasions; such as the Red Carpet Fashion Awards.  Although some may find it is still the gaudy status symbol, others praise the donning of a flamboyant trinket.

   Seeing a revival of the cocktail ring reminded me of a finders-keepers ring.  Several years ago, I finished paying for groceries and made my way beyond the check-out in a local store. Within a few feet of the counter, my eye caught a glimmer of something shiny.  I stooped to pick it up and was amazed that is was a 3-stone diamond ring.  My heart and mind raced.  The total weight of the diamonds may have been about a carrot and its value:  around $3,000.

    I wondered if it was my size and tried it on. It fit! Finders-keepers, right? Wrong. I couldn’t allow myself to keep something knowing it belonged to someone else who probably lost it that day.

   I went to the customer service desk and stood in line to inquire if there was a lost and found. The store’s policies were to record the following information: date, time, description of article, name and signature of the finder.  In addition, the store clerk would sign their name to verify the record. After 2 weeks, if the lost article wasn’t claimed, it would become the property of the finder or store.

  I followed the necessary steps for turning in the ring. If the owner came to claim the lost ring, she may thank me or even offer a reward as a token of gratitude.  After two weeks, I returned to the store and asked a different clerk if the owner of the ring had picked it up. The clerk looked carefully at each entry and said, “No. I don’t see a name written beside the entry for the claim.” I may have been jumping up and down a bit when I replied, “That means it belongs to me. Would you get it out of the safe?” 

   As quickly as my hopes had risen, they had fallen. It was not in the safe or anywhere else. I asked to speak to the manager.  After explaining the situation I added, “Surely the owner would want to thank me for finding the ring. I know I’d be grateful that someone found something of mine that I treasured dearly.” I wasn’t prepared for a mouthful of brash remarks. The female manager vouched for the honesty of her clerks and accused me of accusing them of theft.  She called the next day to tell me that another employee forgot to record that the owner of the ring had indeed picked it up from the lost and found. You could almost hear what I was thinking, “How could someone forget to record such a ring?”

      Over the past 7 years, I avoided shopping at the store where I found that ring. However, every once in a while it has been convenient to stop when in the area. Recently, I returned something I bought on sale that tasted spoiled. The same clerk that recorded the lost and found ring so long ago, still worked behind the customer service counter. She refunded double the amount of the price of a 2 lb. bag of shrimp. I couldn’t help but notice she wore a lot of rings. As a matter of fact, she was wearing a 3-stone diamond ring on her middle finger that looked just like the ring I had found. 

   Maybe you’re thinking she lost weight and that’s why it doesn’t fit her ring finger. It’s not because of weight loss that she has to wear it on her middle finger; she is still the same short round clerk. The 3-stone diamond ring is not a cocktail ring; it is typically given as an engagement ring because it symbolizes the past-present and future.

  I waited on the Lord for guidance. “Help me know if I should say something. Should I make a comment about the 3-stone ring she is wearing? Maybe I should say”, ‘I can’t help noticing your rings. The 3-stone diamond looks very familiar, I found one in this store years ago and it looks just like what you are wearing.’ Instead of commenting on her rings, I prayed for her. How many of the rings on her fingers were from the lost and found?

   If I had done things differently by placing an ad in the newspaper’s lost and found, I would not have seen that the clerk kept the ring I had turned into the store’s lost and found. I’m thankful God allowed me to see the ring on her finger.

   God sees everything we do, and is concerned about our feelings as well. He put his thumb on a matter in my heart that needed removal. I shouldn’t have been driving across town to shop so I wouldn’t have to deal with her. When I did patronize the store, I made sure to avoid the customer service counter.  Now, I am free from bitterness and resentment; instead I feel compassion toward her.  The indwelling work of the Holy Spirit helps me to show her mercy and love. 

   I pray there will come another day for a divine encounter with the customer service clerk. I hope to then minister to her point of need. “…snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear-hating even the clothing stained by the corrupted flesh.” Jude 1:23 NIV

   The truth is, at some point in our life, we are lost in sin. However, God sent his one and only Son Jesus, to find us and redeem our souls from the consequences of sin.  I once was lost, but because of God’s amazing love, now I’m found. That makes me a finders-keepers child of God. 

                                            

Luke 15:4-7 NIV
” Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”

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