I spotted an incredible story on the BBC News website this week about a Swedish woman called Lena Paahlsson who found a surprising carrot growing in her garden. I know a little bit about growing carrots, having attempted to grow some myself over the last few years with rather a mixed success. Many remain really small, probably because I forget to plant them early enough and then never quite get around to thinning them out. This year I found a quite splendid specimen which was the length of my foot and almost as broad! Lena found a carrot that is quite unique, however, something the likes of which I have never grown or discovered before. This carrot was married, or so it seemed. Around its crown sat a thin gold band set with seven small diamonds, quite a find I think you’d agree! What makes this story even more incredible is that this ring was her own wedding ring that she’d lost some sixteen years earlier…
Lena had lost the ring whilst doing some Christmas cooking and had hunted high and low to try and find it, sadly in vain. Disappointed, she had long since given up all hope of finding it. The ring no longer fitted, it was too tight, but she had it widened so she could wear it again. They believe it must have been washed down the sink with potato peelings, which were then used for compost in the garden.
When I was at Bible college, my tutor was a stickler for using words correctly and would frequently tell me off for my use of incredible as a replacement for amazing, telling me that it strictly means unbelievable. I think to call Lena’s story incredible is permissible though, it does seem quite unbelievable if it wasn’t for the proof of the ring now on her finger. Her story reminds me of another unbelievable story, the story of the depths of God’s love for us and the lengths to which he’ll go to woo us. Jesus told many parables about this, stories with a surprising twist, the most famous being the shepherd who abandoned ninety nine sheep to look for a single lost sheep, a woman who turned her house over hunting for a single missing coin and of course the most famous of all, the Prodigal Son (these are all in Luke 15). God’s love for us is such that he sent his only son Jesus into our world to turn it upside down in order to bring us back to him. God loves us that much? Incredible but true.
Article for Church Newsletter, 10.03.13