Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘lost sheep’

BecomingMe-OFC-I will always be grateful I was able to find publishers for my six novels and my first non-fiction book, Soul Friend. Without these publishers, my writing journey would have been severely hampered. But I am also grateful I was able to produce my second non-fiction book, Becoming Me: Finding my true self in God, myself via Ingram Spark in 2016. This gave me freedom to include everything I wanted to include and also to set my own publishing time frame. Now, two years later, I still receive regular reports from Ingram Spark, detailing e-book and hard copy sales.

I love this company’s efficiency, but I often smile when I receive that professional-looking, emailed monthly report for e-book sales in particular. You see, as time has passed since the release of Becoming Me, I usually discover that just one person, someone somewhere in the world, someone I will probably never meet, has bought an e-book version of Becoming Me. Yes, that means a whole USD$2.40 my little book has earned for me as the publisher—what a fortune!

Yet I never feel disappointed with these reports. In fact, this one sale always touches me, as I try to visualise who this reader might be. I pray for them too. I pray that something in my little book might speak to their hearts and provide the word from God for them that they need. After all, I’m sure this one person matters to God.

But occasionally I receive a different sort of email about Becoming Me—one from a reader I often do not know, commenting on some aspect of the book that has been meaningful to them. Recently, a lady wrote how, while she related to so much of what I wrote, the thing that touched her most was one small paragraph where I describe how, for many years, I wrote weekly letters home to my parents interstate, keeping them up-to-date with all our family events. This lady shared how, for over fifty years, she had done the same, even when her mother became a dementia patient in a nursing home. She told me how some people thought she was strange to keep writing these letters. Yet, as she read my book, she felt she had found a companion, someone who understood. How blessed I felt that God had somehow comforted her through my book, even in this small way!

These people whose lives we touch, the ones and twos, do matter to God, don’t you think? Surely we see this in how Jesus often went out of his way to minister to just one person. Examples that come to mind readily are the woman who touched Jesus’ cloak (Matthew 9), Zacchaeus (Luke 19), the woman at the well (John 4), the man born blind (John 9), Lazarus (John 11) and Mary Magdalene outside the tomb (John 20).

People matter to God. You and I matter to God. In fact, God seeks each of us out, like that one lost sheep, and, once found, will never let us go. And that comforts me more than any words I may ever write.

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand, John 10:27-28

Read Full Post »

I have some jewellery which I particularly love – a gold bracelet and ring I received as a farewell gift from the church where I was part of the ministry team for some time.  Yes, this jewellery is valuable in monetary terms, but its value lies much more in what it represents – all the love and thoughtfulness on the part of my friends, especially those who so carefully chose the gifts.

I rarely take my ring and bracelet off.  But one night recently, I realised the bracelet was no longer around my wrist. I looked everywhere in the house with no success. And then it dawned on me – I had spent some time pulling weeds in the backyard that afternoon. I had roughly pushed the large pile of rubbish I collected into an old garbage bin and carried it up the steps from our backyard to a spot near the house. Could my bracelet be among all those weeds in that bin?

It was dark and cold outside, so I resigned myself to leaving the search until the following morning and going to bed without knowing if my bracelet would ever be seen again. But my husband had other ideas. Acting on a ‘strong hunch’, he grabbed a torch and headed down our back steps, intent on seeing if the bracelet was lying on the ground somewhere. I tried to dissuade him – I thought it would be a completely fruitless exercise. But he was determined to set my mind at rest.

Within less than a minute, he had returned. I was still yelling out to him not to worry, that I would go through the garbage bin the next day.

“It’s okay, you don’t have to,” he told me calmly – and held out my gold bracelet to me.

Somehow in the dark, with a very weak torch and without even knowing exactly where I had been in yard, he had spotted it lying there on the grass.

At that point, I was forcibly reminded of the story Jesus told about the woman with the lost coin:

Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbours 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.” (Luke 15:8-10)

Even as I write this, I am looking down at my bracelet, rejoicing that it was indeed found. But Jesus tells us this is absolutely nothing compared with the joy in heaven when one of us is truly found by God. I know how much I love my bracelet and how sorry I would be to lose it – but that’s nothing at all to how much God loves and values us. God is that woman searching for her lost coin. God is that shepherd we read about in the same chapter of Luke, seeking out his lost sheep, just as he is also that loving father who welcomes his lost son home.

 God paid a huge price to buy us back. In love for us, God went to great lengths to find us. And as I look down at my gold bracelet and am reminded of this, I am truly grateful.

Read Full Post »