I was dumbstruck when I discovered the little resurrection pendant I had lost at least a year earlier in the parking lot of Circle of Hope’s building in South Jersey. I had lost it and looked everywhere in my house but never even began to look elsewhere. Yet, there it was right next to where I always park my car when I’m at the office. Granted, I hadn’t been to the office as much in a quarantine year when death felt so close and thus resurrection reminders seemed especially necessary. There were many reasons to feel dead, as there always are. Our collective proximity to death made communal in ticker tape Covid-19 death tolls, the killing of black people by police in broad daylight, the unavoidable weakening of a tight knit community’s bonds, were foremost for me. This discovery of Jesus, his abundant life shining in the harsh July heat, present for months in a spot in which I had, after returning to an office work flow, habituated for regular sulking, was a confounding dagger driven between my ribs. I think I might still be clutching it, afraid to remove this potent symbol lest I bleed out spiritually. I don’t know what to make of it, but I want to make it mean more than simple happiness. I didn’t sweep the house, dig the field or search in every market, and yet this pendant is fully coin, treasure and pearl. The fact that I wasn’t looking is the best part. Utterly undeserved grace!
Below is my sonnet celebration à la Luke 15
The Parable of the Lost Coin
“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
It is much more than this and much more than these fourteen lines…
Lost and Found Resurrection
Thank God this building makes a shady stoop
To sit on, idly minding more than ought
To be in mind, loop upon loop on loop.
For here one day, down deep into my fraught
With doom filled thoughts and failing hope, I stared
At rubble in a crumbly parking lot;
When from the asphalt past the umbra glared
A silver gleam long-lost upon this spot.
It was the pendant of stone rolled away!
My resurrection reminder misplaced
Had slipped off its chain one similar day;
And empty tomb lay witnessing a waste
Of one year-long, gray weariness, here all along,
When Jesus felt so absent but Lo! I was wrong.
You can listen to me read it here