Robb and I were settling in for the worship service at our church, reading the bulletin announcements, discussing a few overflowing topics from our small group, and preparing for a sermon that never disappoints... when the diamond on my engagement ring caught on my sweater.
Not a big deal, I assumed. Small snag. Quickly remedied. But as I untangled the wool thread, I noticed that the ring felt sharper, ragged, different somehow. I looked down at it, and instead of my diamond, I saw four bare prongs pointing up at me.
I gasped. "My diamond! It's gone!"
Robb lurched into action, and so did I. We were instantly on our knees in the carpeted sanctuary, looking everywhere for this precious stone. People in the surrounding rows noticed our frantic looking, and they joined in the search. Others offered flashlights as we all felt along the carpet, in desperate search.
Robb grabbed a friend and together they retraced our steps, while I stayed on my knees in the sanctuary. Praying and searching.
I remembered the day Robb gave it to me, along with this promise of forever.
I remembered when we added the wedding ring I wear alongside it, the band that means, 'I said yes.'
And 'I still do.'
And even as we searched, I felt guilty for loving something so much. The first major investment we made together, or that Robb made for me. A financial commitment that represented more than most of the world makes in a year. I was near tears over losing something that most of the world will never own.
But it's more than the stone itself. It's the symbol. The memory of when Robb first showed it to me, in its black satin box. It's the promise, the thought, the remembering.
Please, God, let me find it.
Just when my emotional journey had taken me far into the farewell of the intangible, I heard, "Tricia! I found it!" Robb was in the back of the sanctuary, waving his arms and shouting to me. Stop the search. The lost has been found.
He retraced our steps. Precisely where I had taken off my winter coat, he saw the sparkling diamond, winking from the floor. He wrapped it in tissue and tucked it in his pocket. Safe, at last.
We relayed the word to the search and rescue team, and they literally shared in my tearful elation. One woman leaned into me and whispered, "I lost my grandmother's ring once. I know how you feel. Doesn't it make you think of the woman in the Bible who loses her silver coin? She sweeps the whole house, carefully searching until she finds it. I bet you understand that now."
Yes, I think I do.
In the parable in the Bible, she says to her friends, "Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin." And the Lord reminds us, "In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of angels over one sinner who repents."
My diamond: irreplaceable. Not just as a placeholder, a symbol, or a token. But for reasons far beyond words.
Perhaps, with a new understanding, so am I.