I just love this one. It comes from luke 15:8,9. "What woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbors together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found that piece which I had lost."
So much to work with here. First of all, the woman had not really lost the money, she had just lost sight of it. It was there in her house all the time. In Mrs. Eddy's spiritual interpretation of the 23rd Psalm she defines house as consciousness. So sometimes we are praying about something we feel we have lost; an article, a friendship, a loved one, car keys, a memory, our purity or innocence. We may think we lost something by making a poor choice, or by circumstances beyond our control. No matter, it appears to be gone. But through prayer we can see that we never really lost whatever it was, we just lost sight of it.
In Bible times women were given coins when they married. These were not to spend but were usually sewn onto a scarf. This was no ordinary penny that had disappeared, but something of great value to this woman. So much so that she went to great lengths to find it. First she lights a candle. Perhaps it will be easier to spot if the shadows are illuminated. When we pray we are bringing the light of Truth to a situation, the truth about God as good and filling all space. God as Mind always knowing where His ideas are. Light dispells darkness, prayer lightens our thought. But she still hasn't spotted the coin. Next she sweeps the house. Thinking of house as consciousness we can see this as clearing away all the cobwebs or old thinking that have been allowed to remain untended. Sweep it all out, bring a sense of order and purity in its place. Still no coin. Does she give up having taken a few steps? Do we? She now searches diligently, she perseveres, takes the time to continue searching. I think this shows an expectation of finding it. Admitting that it is still possible to get it back. And she does. Phew!
But that is not the end of the parable, nor should it be the end of our work. She shares this good news with her friends and neighbors. We do this when we give a testimony at our Wednesday service or send it to the periodicals for publication. We are expressing our gratitude. That should be to God first, and then with others. You never know when what you share is exactly what someone else needs to hear. Right then or some time later. The light she used enabled her to see more clearly. Prayer enables us to see ourselves as God sees us. Never dealing with loss or grief or lack. Complete. Whole. Joyous.
When she found that coin it had lost none of its value. It had not been tainted or flawed. It remained perfect and had its full value. So do we, as we discover our true identity as God's very image and likeness.
Go in peace.