“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’ Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” – Luke 15:4-10
As I said in the video, I could totally relate to the two characters in these parables when I lost my keys. When I realized they were gone, I started to look for them with great anticipation. I looked in every bag we had, called every place I had been to on my trip, as well as all of the airports and security checkpoints that I passed through on my trip to Colorado. Still I did not find them. But rather than give up, I posted on the eNews at my school that they were missing and emailed the lost and found offices at the airports. My last resort–so far–was to crop out a picture of the keys from the picture to the left and post it on facebook to see if anyone who may have been where I had been may have seen the keys. In the middle of all of this searching, I even conceived of an idea for a lost key app and network just so that others who lost their keys could benefit from my loss. Now you might be wondering why I went through so much for a set of keys and I will tell you that the first reason is their value to me. For one thing, the car key cost $179 according to the dealership. So I figured that before I went out and just replaced it, I figured I would do due diligence first. All the while, I thought about the woman looking for her coin everywhere. The other reason was because I was trying to reconcile how I lost the keys in the first place. Next to losing one’s wallet or purse, losing our keys can feel like a really critical loss in the moment. Imagine you have to get to an interview, but can’t find your keys or that it is cold outside and you can’t get in your house. All of a sudden these lifeless blades of metal become so much more important than they may have otherwise been on a conscious level.
In the parables above, Jesus draws a very important illustration of how God values each and everyone of us. What he is trying to convey is the essence of God’s attraction/connection to us. In the first illustration he juxtaposes the 99 sheep that are present to the one that was lost. Why is that so important? Well let’s just say that if I had 99 more car keys then I would probably not even be concerned at all about losing the one. But just in that simple analogy Jesus is showing what lengths God would go to find one lost child by showing what we would do if we lost something we valued. Would God’s seeking for us be 99 times what we would do? How about infinitely more? Can you imagine that God loves each and every one of us in particular so much that God would move all of Creation just to find one of us? And not just those of us that we agree are the best among us, but each of us. For as it says in 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
We are all the beneficiaries of a great and wondrous love and unfortunately many of us don’t even know it. And those of us who do are often intimidated about sharing it. We fight over God’s love and the world created by that love as if there’s not enough. There is enough. There is more than enough–eternally more. It is our ability to receive that is in short supply. And that is what Christ is here to change. If we knew our reality in God’s eyes to be that space that the shepherd felt when he found that sheep or the woman when she found the coin, how much more living and giving would we do? How would we view the little events in our lives like say, losing a set of keys if we did so in sight of God’s love? How awesome would it be if situations like these that could be a real inconvenience could all of a sudden become further reminders of just how loved we are. So to answer my original question, “Does God care if I lost my keys?” I’d say the answer is yes. God cares and is using my lost keys to remind me that I am eternally welcomed into my true home that is not locked and no key is required.
“I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.”- John 10:9-11