The saga continues! My poor cell phone had to spend the night shivering in the cold, lost and all alone, wondering if anyone even missed her, while back at home, I nervously paced the floor, worried sick, starting at every sound, picturing in my mind the worst scenarios. Doesn't that sound like the plot for a good story? Alas, only part of it is true. The phone did spend the night out in the cold, but after praying about it, I slept like a baby till about four thirty this morning, when I awoke from a dream in which I had found it nestled in some weeds near the overpass just north of Falconer.
Unable to get back to sleep, I got up, showered and dressed, and left a note for Linda. It had occurred to me that although calling my number wouldn't help because I had set it on silent mode, perhaps If I dialed it in the dark, I could see it light up. I drove to Falconer, parked the car and began walking the route from the church parking lot to Hough Hill Road, about half a mile out of town, all the while repeatedly dialing my number. To no avail.
On the drive home, it occurred to me that with gps technology on the phone, perhaps there were a way to log in and locate it using my iPad. Lo and behold, I had downloaded just such an app somewhere along the line, and after breakfast and about fifteen minutes of fiddling, I was staring at a map of Work Street in Falconer, just south of the expressway overpass, with an icon of my phone center screen. Linda offered to go with me to look for it.
She has started calling me Tim for my computer savviness, and would prefer that from now on I call her Abby Sciuto. While I was searching the weeds alongside the road, she scuffled along the curb, kicking up the leaves. We hadn't been there ten minutes when she came walking up with a smirk, asking me who I loved the most, before handing me my phone, a bit worse for wear, but still working.
In one of Jesus' parables, he speaks of a woman who searched her house for a lost a coin, rejoicing when she found it. In that culture, it wasn't just any coin, but part of her dowry, her insurance for hard times or old age in a day when a woman was always just a heartbeat away from financial disaster and economic insecurity. Today, it isn't those things that plague most of us; it's things like losing a cell phone with all one's contacts, security information, and schedule, alongside a host of other applications that have become necessities upon which we depend. The rejoicing of the woman in the story was Jesus' way of describing the joy in heaven over one sinner who repents. Today, he would get his point across talking about a lost cell phone, which while not a major catastrophe, would have been a major and expensive inconvenience. I'll have to live with a screen that looks like a spider web, but I can do that.
And I am feeling the nudge of the Holy Spirit. When was the last time I was as determined to look for a lost person as I was to look for this lost phone? What does that say about my priorities, my values, my faithfulness? I think I'll hang onto this phone. It is a good reminder of the persistence of Jesus in his searching for me, and is a challenge to me to care as much for a lost soul as a lost phone. Tonight, I am not only giving thanks IN this; I am giving thanks FOR this lost and found, cracked up phone (1 Thess. 5:18, Eph. 5:20).