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?
Luke 15:8 (NIV)
There are no acceptable losses in God’s kingdom. You can reject God’s invitation, but God will never stop pursuing you.
The woman in the parable of Luke 15 had ten coins and one became lost. It is believed to have fallen from her headdress, where all ten would have been located. When she discovered that it was lost, she lit a lamp—not because it was nighttime, but because her house, as was typical for a peasant’s home, had no windows, only a low door that let in but a little light.
She then swept the house to make the coin sound on the floor. She hoped that it was under the straw that had been spread out over the floor since the domestic animals would have been constantly in and out.
Jesus shares this parable for one reason: to highlight the fact that the care, the energy, the passion, and the detail this woman gives to finding that one coin is the same as the care, the energy, the passion, and the detail that Jesus gives to bringing lost people back to right relationship with a loving God.
It’s also the care that the Lord wants us to extend in forgiving others, walking out our faith, extending compassion, helping others come to know Jesus, and seeking for justice in the earth.
I think, particularly in these times we find ourselves living, when so much has been lost, Jesus teaches us that you don’t ever have to settle for loss on any level. If it’s valuable, then it’s worth the effort to retrieve it. That includes emotions, experiences, health, and human connections. Loss doesn’t have to be an acceptable embrace for you. This also applies to your joy, and it stretches all the way to human acceptance, despite race or gender.
It’s interesting that Jesus doesn’t tell us how this woman lost the coin, because it really doesn’t matter. Jesus doesn’t put conditions on His willingness to go to the farthest lengths to retrieve someone.
If you have experienced loss on any level, to whatever degree, with whatever pain and whatever guilt, you don’t have to just live accepting loss like you have no options. No loss is considered reasonable, nor should it be acceptable, when it comes to the purposes of Christ at work in your life.