-Rev Melissa Fain-
8 “Or what woman, if she owns ten silver coins and loses one of them, won’t light a lamp and sweep the house, searching her home carefully until she finds it? 9 When she finds it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Celebrate with me because I’ve found my lost coin.’10 In the same way, I tell you, joy breaks out in the presence of God’s angels over one sinner who changes both heart and life.”
Luke 15:8-10 CEB
I saw that look and it arrested me. Two girls, staring up at me from a gas station. What appeared to be their father was ordering them into a vehicle. I knew that look because I had given it before when I was about their age.
I also know what looked back at them because I had seen it before. Complete and total helplessness. I had my baby son in the car. I didn't know them. I had no agency to step in and help, but I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, they needed help.
Their desperate gazes have haunted me now for a decade. I had mentally condemned those adults from my past. I condemned the ones who just stared helplessly back, and I condemned the ones who openly expressed they wanted to help but couldn't. All I needed was one of them to step up.
But step up and do what exactly?
We are a sea of people, surrounded by others, lost.Truth is, God is too; by us.
How much does the story of the lost coin change when it's not God searching for us, but us searching for the last part of God? The story is no longer passive, but active. In an active story, we are given the agency to create the positive change in the world.
That's what haunts me about those girls. Try as I might, I can't shake the feeling there was a moment of action, and I turned the situation into a passive experience. It's a moment I will never be able to relive. I let the coin remain lost, and lost a piece of God in the process.
God is calling us to action because God is lost.
Let us pray:
Oh Motherly God, who gathers us like a hen gathers her chicks. Guide us to gather your children in the same way, and bring wholeness to your kingdom. Amen.