Lost objects: What can we learn from the experience and emotions involved?

March 8, 2013

Spiritual reflections from a lost cell phone
Jesus told a parable about a woman who searched her home high and low, desperately trying to find a lost coin (Luke 15). Might not that story have a modern day counterpart in the story of a busy professional woman who lost her cell phone? I couldn’t help but think about that as I read this thoughtful essay in the Huffington Post, written by Rabbi Judith HaLevy (excepted from her sermon for Rosh Hashonah, titled “The National Day of Unplugging.” ) She describes the feelings we have when we lose anything that has held great importance to us. Speaking of missing her cell phone, she writes: “By the next day, I was feeling an intense sensation of disorientation and loss. Why would I care so much about a small object that could be replaced, even if the price was steep? Why such pain? I felt as if a body part were missing. Depression was sinking in.” She talks about the Talmudic term to be applied to lost objects and what she learned from her experience—about herself, about communication, about the loss of loved ones through death, and about God and what God desires from us.

Letha Dawson Scanzoni
Letha Dawson Scanzoni is an independent scholar, writer, and editor. In 1978, she and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott wrote Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?, one of the earliest books urging evangelical Christians to rethink their views on homosexuality (updated edition, 1994, HarperOne). More recently, Letha coauthored (with social psychologist David G. Myers) What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage (HarperOne, 2005 and 2006). Another of Letha’s most well-known books is All We’re Meant to Be: Biblical Feminism for Today, coauthored with Nancy A. Hardesty (Word Books, 1974; revised edition, Abingdon, 1986; updated and expanded edition, Eerdmans, 1992).

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