My Life in a Parable--The Story of the Itty Bitty Diamond
We all know that most of the Savior's most powerful teachings were done through parables. Some are easy to understand while some aren't, and even if we know the meaning, until we experience it in our own lives, sometimes the deeper meaning might feel like just a nice thought.
I have been prepping stuff for Come Follow Me for next year, so I have been up to my eyeballs in parables for days. So I don't think it's a coincidence that I found myself in the middle of one last week.
The Story of the Itty Bitty Diamond
It was a typical day, I was doing typical things and preparing to go grocery shopping. The "incident in question" happened sometime between the time I got up and before I got out of the car at the grocery store. As I grabbed my purse to get out, I scratched my right arm with the prongs on my wedding ring and that's when I noticed the diamond was missing.
The good news? It had gone missing sometime before I left the car and went in the store.
The bad news? I don't think I need to really explain other than to say, I don't own the Hope Diamond.
Of course immediate panic scorched through me. My first reaction was to hurry home and start looking for it. But then I realized wherever it was, it wasn't going anywhere (unless it was somewhere on my person, which it wasn't because I checked) and I needed groceries.
Even with a list, I left the store missing about half of what I needed thanks to the preoccupying thoughts I was having about the missing diamond.
My husband called while I was still in the store and I, reluctantly and carefully, told him. I don't know why I worried about telling him, true to his calm nature in extreme crisis, he said, in so many words, don't panic, we can replace it.
Searching High and Low
When I got home I searched everywhere. And I legitimately mean EVERYWHERE. Between couch cushions, under furniture, in the bottom of my shoes, through the garbages, both kitchen and bathroom. I even sifted through the cat food. Nothing.
I was left with the possibility that it had gone down a drain or dropped into the outside garbage can when I cleaned out the fridge and threw out a bag of old fruit. It was garbage day, so I removed the can from the curb on the off chance that this was where it went. Patrick, also because he is awesome, agreed to go through that can when he got home.
You may be asking, did you say a prayer to find it? Yes, yes I did. More than one. The first was in panic in the car at the store. The second was when I got home and started looking. The third was when I felt like I'd looked everywhere but still hadn't found it.
The interesting thing is, after the third prayer, I honestly felt a lot of peace about it. The panic pretty much disappeared, although I continued to look and took a vow not to vacuum until I was certain it was not hiding on the floor somewhere. Poor Patrick was going to take the brunt of it with that nasty outside can later...but otherwise, I was determined to do everything I could to find it, but not worrying anymore.
So here's where my parable came in...
I had just been reading about the lost coin, the lost sheep and the prodigal son. Obviously, a lost child is huge, right? Even a lost sheep is bad. I remember once when the front door got left open and I panicked thinking my cat had wandered out when I couldn't find her, so I get that one too. But a lost coin?
My diamond is not one of the crowned jewels, it's itty bitty. But it's symbolic of something important to me, so losing it felt like a huge tragedy. Yes, I could replace it, just like Patrick said, but it would never be the same as the one that I lost. This one was mine, and it's been mine for more than 30 years, so having a new one, or having others, wouldn't make the one that was missing less important.
I'm pretty sure that's how Heavenly Father feels about me.
I'm itty bitty too (well, in terms of the whole human family, in the physical sense, not so much) so to say I am worth looking for means everything. Maybe that's why the Savior used a coin in the parable--so I would know He wants to find all lost things, even the itty bitty ones that we might not think are important.
Okay, so how did it end?
To finish this story, let me tell you what happened the next day....
Patrick also looked around the house just to see if I missed anything. Then he (sort of reluctantly) went out to the garbage can. There wasn't a lot in there because he'd disassembled an old wheelbarrow and thrown it away. However, because of the wheelbarrow the garbage can would not close and then it had rained, and not just a little bit. So to say the bottom of the can was full of rotting fruit and sludge would be an understatement. It looked like hazmat suit material. Like the nice wife that I am, I left him to that nasty task by himself while I went to take a shower.
I could hear him pulling the wheelbarrow out of the can in the backyard and legitimately felt both sorry for him and grateful for him at the same time. And then, a few minutes later, he was knocking on the bathroom door. He said he thought he had found it.
He had, indeed, found it. But not in the garbage can.
He had come in realizing he needed better gloves (and the aforementioned hazmat suit) and had come in the house to go find some and there it was, right in the middle of the family room floor. Astonished and not really believing it, I had him put it back where he found it, just so I could see what it looked like and see how I had missed it.
It was shiny and blingy and completely OBVIOUS. There is no way it had been there the whole time because there is no possible way we would have missed it if it had been. I had literally stepped right over this area on my way to the shower. It wasn't shoved down in the carpet, or hiding, or anything. Just laying there all innocent-like.
Miracles never cease and tender mercies are everywhere!
Am I saying the hand of the Lord came down out of the heavens and plopped it there on the floor while we weren't looking? No. But I'm not saying it didn't either. Whatever happened, it was a certified miracle.
I will probably never know how it got there, or why it appeared when it did. But I do know that the Lord loves me, and takes care of me in my distress, even when my distress is small compared to so many other, more serious tragedies. His guiding hand and tender mercies are everywhere, it's up to us to look and see them....and thank Him when we find them.
And as I look at this teeny, tiny diamond, I am amazed at how small it is. It doesn't look that small in the setting. I'm sure there is another lesson in there somewhere for me as well.