Last year, I missed a dinner knife from my cutlery drawer. Now, for some reason, when I unloaded the dishwasher, I decided to count my cutlery pieces as I was putting them away. I knew I had a set of 12 dinner forks, dessert forks, small spoons, large spoons and dinner knives because I bought two sets of six each when I purchased them. (I have a set of 12 dishes.) So, out of curiosity, I thought I would count the cutlery as I was putting it away in the drawer. Lo and behold, I was missing a knife!! And this didn’t make me happy. Because I like things in sets. It’s one of my idiosyncrasies. I like things returned to where they belong. I like things restored. (I have in my cupboard a creamer that I found in a secondhand store which exactly matches the sugar bowl I purchased from a different secondhand store in a different town, and it delighted me to “restore” this set together!)
Back to the knife. I’m missing one dinner knife. All the other cutlery pieces were 12 each. Everything was properly part of the set except for the knife! So, I wondered, where is it? I asked my family members. No-one seemed to know. I was convinced it had been taken somewhere on a picnic and lost. Or packed in someone’s lunch and forgotten to be brought home. Or accidentally taken somewhere to someone’s house ending up in their cutlery drawer! I would never get it back!
Now don’t laugh at me. I pray to God about everything. I said a prayer (and this was last year, and from time to time when I thought about it). I said: “Dear God, you know what happened to that knife. You know where it is. If I can retrieve it, please show me where it is. If it’s possible to get it back, please make it so. Thanks, dear God. Amen.”
Now last week, I was feeling a little down because today is the date when my husband Terry died two years ago. I was reading that morning about joy in my daily devotional. I said to God – please bring me some joy today. And later that same day in the afternoon, Laura who lives with me and my son, was sitting alone on the back deck when she noticed something glinting in the sun between the cracks in the boards. It was the knife! It had fallen between the cracks in the deck! When we had a meal out there with the BBQ! And no-one had noticed it falling down in that crack. With a coat hanger, Laura dragged it underneath the deck along the crack (it was halfway in the deck with no room to crawl underneath!). And when she brought it into the kitchen to show me, I literally kissed it, all muddy as it was. I was so delighted to have that knife back where it belonged! In its set. It came home. It was restored! And more than that, I was delighted that God sent me joy that day. And maybe Terry helped, too, on the other side. Because I was missing him and I prayed for his Spirit to be with me. God sent me special joy that day. It made me laugh and smile!
So my reflection today is this: have you ever asked God to intervene on your behalf and restore something to you? Something which you value? Something that may seem lost to you? It could be an item, or a problem, or a person, or circumstance, or anything which has upset you, and you ask God to help you? You can say the same prayer I prayed. You can ask God to show you where to look, or what to do, to retrieve something for you, or intervene for you. You can pray with assurance that God knows where everything is (!), and God knows your concerns, and God cares about you. Can you believe this? You try it.
God loves you. And God knows what’s on your heart. And God will help you. And God may surprise you. Just like my knife.
Blessings to all, stay safe, keep well, and pray with trust. Rev. Mary