In ancient times, if you dreamed the same thing twice that was a sign that the events in your dream would surely happen. In the story of the Great Pharaoh of Egypt, dreaming about a coming seven-year drought, the dream occurs in two variations but with the same theme. He is then so troubled, because it is essentially the same, that he calls on all the senior magicians and interpreters to tell him what the dreams mean
Sometimes the ancients appear to have had a deeper understanding of life than we 21st Century materialist junkies. They were concerned with myths, dreams and stories, believing them to have meaning and application to life circumstances. Which is why for me, when the teller of the parables relates the same story twice, but in different form, he wants us to pay special attention.
Consider: “Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it calls together her friends and neighbours, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost.” Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
My previous ‘lost’ parable was about a living creature, a sheep. This is about an inanimate object. A coin. Is it that the second telling indicates a deeper lostness than the first to emphasise the seriousness of the lost human condition?
Being inanimate is a state for us of death. To be dead is to be lost to the world of the living with all of its life patterns, joys and sorrows. There is some depression, some lostness (even alcohol or drug addition) that is like that. It removes the person from awareness of the world around them and to those outside the person is ‘dead to the world’.
The second Jesus parable has an interesting process. First, light. This chases away shadows and brings clarity and reality. Second, a diligent sweeping. Getting rid of all the dirt, dust and distraction to the reveal of the coin. For each of us in our lostness, no matter how deep, there has to be a moment of reality. That reality is our self exposed, but exposed in light to the searcher who considers us infinitely valuable and worth discovery.
In order to celebrate restoration to belonging, to knowing, to being in harmony with others and the searcher. How hidden do we want to be and for how long? How much do we avoid the light and the broom of the love of a God who wants to bring us to wholeness not hiddeness and abandonment?