[Service Four of the “End of the world as we know it” Camp 2012 with speaker Garland Owensby/my thoughts]
Surely you have seen the movie, or at least know about it: Pirates of the Caribbean, of course the first one. The whole premise behind the movie is that a bunch of cursed pirates are on a mission to find the last lost coin, 1 of 882 lost coins. The reason- the break the curse. The last coin is found but blood is still needed to be shed- the blood of the one who stole it, or their child. If you haven’t seen the movie, I won’t give it away. But see it! Its one of my favorites!
The pirate Barbosa, was the one in deep search for that which was lost- the the final coin. Barbosa was driven to find it no matter the cost. Please look at this allegorically, not as something we actually need to do. We are not pirates, nor have we lost a coin of Cortez Aztec gold. But, there is a message to be found here. We are all people in search of something. What motivates you to look for things? Is it a mentality of: “If it gives me pleasure…if I get something.” The thing is…we look for what we value.
In Luke 15, it talks about a woman who lost a coin. She was obviously not wealthy which was exactly why losing just one coin mattered so much to her. She searched and searched until she found it. The question to be asked is “who” or “what” is/are the lost coins? The answer is that those are outside of relationship with Jesus. Jesus is looking for those that everyone else stopped looking for. The problem is that often, sadly often, we put ourselves in a place where we place ourselves above others thinking they still deserve Hell… grace is for you and still for them, regardless of who they are or what they have done. How do we respond to this? Be intentional because love requires action. Its worth the investment to find the lost. If God values them, then we need to value everyone. When the lost is found, rejoice!
Here are a few stories:
“If God calls you, the safest place for you is in His will.” – Christian Shoemaker. Christian said that at the beginning of World War 1. He died of of smallpox in India. His wife stayed in India for another 33 years. Of his six kids, five are missionaries. The other is a pastor. To this family, people mattered. They were deeply valuable regardless of race, religion, background or anything else.
Mary Curie was a woman in Lebanon- she was a Christian and Lebanon was a Muslim nation. She vowed that “I will obey Him”, and she did. One night she watched as each of her family members were murdered, shot by Muslims. They then shot her and left her body on the ground, only to be found days later still alive. She was completely paralyzed. Her response to the brutality of them, was this: “My life will be a prayer”. She vowed to pray for them daily, to pray for God’s love to be seen.
Lillian Trasher, became known as the Mother of the Nile. That term doesn’t even give justice to this woman’s life. Lillian broke off her engagement to a great Christian man because she felt God was calling her to pick up and move to Egypt. So to Egypt she did move. While she was there, she was handed a baby by a dying woman. Her only response was to make sure that baby could have a chance at life- she nursed, got it healthy, and slowly became a mother to hundreds of kids in Egypt, as one by one her heart broke, and one by one she was going after the “lost coins”.
You see with all of these stories, with plenty more just like them, these people were able to look beyond someone’s story, background, color or religion because they saw something else. They saw that every person on this Earth was created by God, with purpose, and are part of God’s love story. They believed every person was valuable and lived and died believing so.