Could that bump under the carpet be a hamster?

After installing a carpet, the carpet layer stepped outside for a smoke but quickly realized he’d lost his cigarettes.

He walked back inside to look for them and noticed a bump under the carpet in the middle of the room.

Instead of pulling up the entire carpet for a pack of cigarettes, he stomped the bump down flat.

About that time, the lady of the house walked in and handed him the missing pack of cigarettes.

“I found these on the coffee table,” she said. “Now, if only I could find my hamster.”

Researchers suggest that the average person spends roughly 10 minutes a day looking for lost keys, seven minutes looking for socks and shoes, five minutes looking for the remote control, and four minutes searching for sunglasses.

Jesus used our familiarity with losing things to teach an important truth during his earthly ministry.

“What woman who has ten silver coins and loses one of them does not light a lamp, sweep her house, and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls together her friends and neighbors to say, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my lost coin” (Luke 15:8-9).

Jesus, of course, told that in a spiritual context, painting a picture of the way that He searches diligently for lost souls in need of salvation. He went on to say “there is joy in the presence of God’s angels over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10).

A reader in Minnesota shared recently that, some 40 years ago, he was lost, involved in drugs and of all sorts of other bad things. But the Lord saved him and transformed his life. His wife had also been into drugs and spent time in prison for smuggling cocaine before she was born again.

They are now serving Jesus with a passion, telling others about how they were spiritually lost when Jesus found them. Their passion now is telling others about the life-changing power of the gospel.

They’re passionate because they’ve experienced God’s mercy and forgiveness.

“What God can do with us ugly sinners,” this man said. “We are new creations. Old things are gone. All things are new.”

The carpet layer in the opening tale may have been willing to leave something behind, but Jesus isn’t. He came this world to save lost people. If you’re one of them, He wants to do for you what he did for the Minnesota husband and wife.

Roger Alford offers words of encouragement to residents of America’s heartland. Reach him at rogeralford1@gmail.com.