There were umbrellas, books, jackets, gloves and sweaters. And there was a Tupperware box to hold smaller things. Today it contained at least 50 items. Besides photos, scraps of notes and bookmarks, there were keys, watches, sunglasses and pieces of broken jewelry.
I was working at the lost and found counter at church. Most of the things were tagged with a date, and if they weren’t claimed in three months they were donated to a local non-profit thrift store. The trash, broken bits of jewelry, and torn clothing were tossed.
I picked up a key ring and stared at it in wonder. It had been in the box three weeks. These electronic car keys cost about $100 to replace. Don’t people realize when they’ve lost their keys? How do they get home? I hated to think of all the lost things that would never be returned to their owner.
“Excuse me…?” I looked up into the worried face of a woman who looked like she was ready to break into tears. She said, “I know this is impossible, but I lost the diamond out of my ring.” She extended her hand to show me the empty setting. “Did anyone turn in a diamond?”
I looked in all the corners of the plastic container, but sadly, there was no diamond. “When did you notice it was missing?” I asked her, “Where were you sitting?”
She told me as much as she could remember.
“Well,” I suggested, “They’re cleaning up the auditorium. Let’s say a prayer together right now, and then I’ll go tell the men to keep their eyes open for it.” Actually, they were more than “cleaning up” the auditorium. About 30 men were feverishly dismantling the huge room. They were taking down the neat rows of chairs and setting the room up with dozens tables and chairs for a special ladies’ dinner that night. It was chaos!
I had very little hope that a diamond could be found, but we held hands and prayed; and the lady gave me her phone number and left. John happened to walk by just then, so I asked him if he would spread the word.
Less than three minutes later he walked back to the counter grinning. “You are not going to believe this!” He held out his hand and the diamond lay sparkling on his palm! “I told Chuck about it,” John explained, “because he was getting ready to vacuum before they set up the tables. There were gum wrappers and all kinds of little bits of trash on the floor. And then a minute later I walked into the auditorium he came up to me holding it in his hand!” John shook his head in disbelief.
As fast as I could, I called the lady who had lost her diamond. She had not even reached her house yet.
There was great rejoicing that day! Everyone was talking about the lost and found diamond. So many people were encouraged by the story. When something that amazing and nearly impossible happens, it gives you hope for just about anything!
A week later I was once again at my lost and found “station”. I decided to go through the plastic box and get rid of some of the odd bits of paper and pens and useless broken things. There was so much junk in the box that we could easily miss small valuable things. (Like a diamond!)
I began to make a little trash pile…a couple of torn book marks, a lipstick, a lego man, a some hair barrettes…I picked up a broken bracelet and started to put it in the pile, but then I reconsidered. The clasp was broken but maybe it was still important to someone. It was very pretty – with rhinestones all around like a diamond tennis bracelet. I put it back in the box.
“Excuse me, Andee?” I looked up to see Chuck. Yes, the same Chuck who had found the lost diamond the previous week. He stood there with his wife, Vickie, and they looked stricken. “Has anyone turned in a diamond bracelet?”
Hardly daring to hope, I fished through the stuff in the Tupperware container. “Is this it?” I held up what I had thought was rhinestone costume jewelry, and watched relief and delight wash over Vickie’s face! It was a real diamond bracelet Chuck had just given his wife for their anniversary.
To this day I am thankful for what I see as an example of the Lord’s interest in the details of our lives. Chuck’s faithfulness and honesty had brought hope to so many of us when we heard the story of a single diamond actually being found in the huge auditorium. And a week later the blessing was returned to him twenty times over!