I’ve lost more wedding rings than the Kent State Golden Flashes have lost football games. Well, not really. They’ve lost over 500, but I have lost several. I wore my first one until the backside of it broke in two. Since then, I’ve lost count as to how many I’ve had. I lost one playing church-league softball. Running in from the outfield, I jerked off my glove and my ring flew off my finger. I knew it came off, but I didn’t see where it landed. As I began to search for it, my teammates helped me look. The game was delayed and even the opposing team joined in the hunt. The earth must have swallowed that thing up, because we never found it.

Now I’m not the only one to lose my wedding ring. My dear sweet wife has lost hers too. In amazing, almost miraculous fashion, we found hers on two occasions. Once, when we were involved in a terrible accident, Jean was thrown from a truck. Her hand hit something and sprung the prongs that held in her diamond. Our dear friend, Fred Ledford, went to the scene of the accident to search for the diamond. You’ve heard of “Looking for a needle in a haystack?” He looked for a diamond in a pile of glass... and found it! Several years later, she laid her rings on the side of our bathtub. She watched in disbelief as Sage, our long-departed Golden Retriever, picked up her rings with his mouth. I guess he thought they were a treat because he swallowed them. We knew, as they say, that this too would pass. What do you do? Well, what do you think? Yes, I know that’s gross, but I monitored his every “movement” for the next few days. I retrieved them from... well, you know. I’m surprised Jean didn’t melt those rings with all that bleach. After all that, they finally disappeared one day to never been seen again. Sage never admitted, or denied, any knowledge of the situation!

I bought Jean another nice ring, but we quit buying the expensive ones for me. About a year or so ago, I lost still yet another one. I had no idea what had happened to it. It disappeared like a $100 bill at the grocery store. One day I had it, and the next day I couldn’t find it. I usually pull off my ring and put it on the bathroom sink each night. That evening when I looked to pull it off, it wasn’t on my finger.

I went bare-fingered for a while, until I eventually gave up on finding my ring. I bought another one that I felt I would, no doubt, lose. Then one sunny spring day that called for work in the yard, Jean found my missing ring. No, it wasn’t hiding out in the grass or hanging on an azaleas bush. When she slid her hand into an old pair of my work gloves, she felt something in one of the fingers. It seemed that another glove had removed another one of my rings, but this time I didn’t realize it. It stayed in the finger of that glove all winter long. I have two rings now, one that I wear and one that’s a spare, in case I lose one.

Sometimes we lose things that later return, so don’t give up on whatever, or even whoever, you have lost. Jesus told three parables about a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost son, but they were all found and/or returned. (Luke 15)

The one thing we should never lose is hope.

— Bill King is a native of Rainsville, where he and his wife graduated from Plainview High School. King is a director of missions in Opelika, a writer, musician and author. His column appears in the Times-Journal Thursdays edition. Visit brobillybob.com for more information.

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