BBC Radio Merseyside Thought for the Day 24/8/2007
She had the whole restaurant on our knees, looking for it. The earring which became dislodged somewhere between the entrance and her table, and had bounced away across the floor.
We had to find it, the other diners, because there were tears rolling down this young woman's face, there was great distress in her voice at the thought of losing this precious thing.
Now this didn't happen in an expensive eating place; we weren't the most sophisticated customers, and this was not a special occasion for anybody there. We were in a roadside service station, mostly eating processed food from cardboard containers in the middle of an ordinary day. I'd guess that most of us were just passing through, refuelling.
The earring was found by a plasterer in the corner seat by the TV screen, and those who watched him return it to the deeply grateful woman saw that this earring was very ordinary, nothing special at all.
The woman, wiping the tears from her cheeks, noticed our reactions and offered an explanation.
"I know it's only a cheap thing," she said unapologetically, "but it was my best friend's, you see. I was with her when she bought it, it cost her six pound fifty. But she loved it. It really matched the colour of her eyes. And she died last month. Cancer. But when she was ill she gave this to me. It means a lot to me"
No loss is insignificant. Even the loss of small things, in the most ordinary places, are important. This week I've been talking about the idea of Heaven in the Ordinary. This story hints at how it may be found.