Nearly two years ago my mother purchased a very expensive, very high tech pair of hearing aids. They were not her first pair, but far more comfortable and effective as any others she had owned.
We sifted through the contents of the vacuum cleaner bag. I refused to tear apart plumbing for something the size of a small pea.
She held out for several more months of non-hearing agony for both of us before giving in and replacing the lost device. Since then, she has been keeping much better track of those hearing aids.
Yesterday she had a morning appointment. She was dressed and ready to walk out the door. I made a last dash back to the bedrooms. There, lying on the hardwood floor, dead center in the doorway of her bedroom, was a hearing aid. When I handed it to her, she looked puzzled, then worried. She check her right ear, then her left. Looked even more puzzled, then broke into one of her wonderful-but-rare smiles.
She still doesn't know where that lost hearing aid had been hiding.
Like the wealthy farmer whose prodigal son came slinking home after squandering his inheritance, give thanks when what is missing returns. Sometimes they are things. Sometimes they are people. Always they have value.
Don't forget to pray!