I am not into jewelry at all. I like buying it for my wife, but when it comes to myself, I have only two rings and a couple of watches. But the other day, I was asked to speak at Ft. Sill. It was an incredible opportunity as I haven’t been on that base since 1971, 46 years ago. A lot has changed since then; in fact, when I was asking about the cannon I was trained on, they told me it is now in a museum.
I thought it would be neat to wear one of my old crossed cannon insignias, symbol for the Artillery branch of the Army, to the base. As I was looking through my jewelry box searching for the insignias, I came upon a few items I hadn’t seen for a while. One was an old key fob (I’m not sure what it was doing there); my 1969 high school ring from Chillicothe, Mo.; a few cuff links and another ring I didn’t recognize. At first I thought it might have been one of my parents’ high school rings, but upon closer examination, I realized it wasn’t. It was a 1959 high school ring from Hugo, Okla. What was this ring doing in my jewelry box? Where did it come from? How long have I had it?
It had probably has been 10 years since I last opened my jewelry box. I tried to think of anyone I knew from Hugo. I preached there once, but can’t say I really know anyone from that town. Besides, this was a class ring from 58 years ago. The person who wore it had to be at least 10 years older than I am.
I looked for more clues on the ring, and some initials were engraved inside the band. The lettering was like fancy Old English. I could make out the middle and last letters: “D” and “R.” But I had a difficult time reading the first letter; it looked like either a “J” or a “T.” Its lower part looked like a “J,” and the top looked like a “T.”
I went online looking for a 1959 Hugo High School yearbook to see if I could find someone with the same initials. I found one, but the images were so fuzzy I couldn’t read the names listed below the photos.
So I did what any good Christian would do: I went to Facebook. I had taken a series of pictures and posted them with the note: “I have found a 1959 Hugo High School ring with the initials either JDR or TDR. If you know who this might be, message me.”
I posted it at 7 p.m., and by 8:08, others began to share it. By 10:05 and later, 162 people had shared this post. I had a match for “TDR” as Terry Dee Rowe, Hugo High School, Class of 1954. Not only did I have her name, but her address in Dallas and two telephone numbers as well as an email address.
The next day, I called her and sent pictures of the ring. She identified it as hers but couldn’t remember the last time she saw it or how it would ever have come into my possession. This is still a mystery to me. I wrapped up the ring and sent it to her, and after many years, she has her high school class ring once again.
This reminds me of the story in Luke 15:8-10: “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Not only was a ring lost and found, but I was once lost as well. That is the good news of Jesus Christ. We are all lost (Roman 3:23) but God sent his Son, Jesus, to make a way for us to return to God. As a young man, I confessed to God that I was a sinner in need of a Savior. I asked Him to forgive me of my sin and be the Lord of my life. “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).
A lost ring and a lost young man. Praise God, both have been returned to their rightful owner. Rejoice!