At a conference in a rainy city, damp and cold but not freezing, I was carrying around with me, as one does, hat and scarf and gloves and umbrella. After the final event of the day, I realized I did not have my umbrella. I looked in my backpack: no gloves either. I found the umbrella in the book exhibit. The gloves were nowhere.
    The next day, on a chance, I returned to the previous day’s lunchspot. I opened the door, and before I could say anything, she said, “Did you leave your gloves here yesterday?”
    “You have made my day,” I said. She opened a cabinet and returned them to their grateful owner.
    What was most wonderful was not the finding of the gloves but being offered them before I had a chance even to ask.
    Which parable is this?
    She lost a coin; she swept her room clean; she found the coin; she rejoiced.
    He took his inheritance and ran; he came to the end of his wits; he practiced to himself the speech he would make to his father; before he could get the words out, his father embraced him.
    There is an overflowingness in God. His goodness races out towards us. He gives us what we want sometimes even before we can say a word.
    Out & About. This Sunday I will be preaching at St. Matthew’s Cathedral, 5100 Ross Ave., Dallas, at 8 and 10:30 a.m. At 9:30 a.m. I will begin a five-week class on the Song of Songs.
    Saturday, Jan. 20, at 1 p.m. I begin a five-session course in Christian Ethics, offered at the Stanton Center at the cathedral. Each class is three hours, with one class per month through May. This course requires registration; info here.  
    The lunch place, by the way, was Garden Bar in Portland, Ore., and I had eaten the Garden Bar-B-Q salad. The research continues.

The Rev. Canon Dr. Victor Lee Austin is the Theologian-in-Residence for the diocese and is the author of several books including, "Losing Susan: Brain Disease, the Priest's Wife, and the God who Gives and Takes Away."