It’s been a long work week and so my wife and I and kids decided to just hang things up and go out for supper last night. On the way into the restaurant there was a little boy, maybe 7 or 8, sitting on a bench. He was sobbing uncontrollably, feeling so small in the great big world that he was taking up as little space as possible. His fists were clenched by his side as he edged closer to his panic. A woman just in front of us was trying to talk to him, but he could hardly speak, and when she asked if he was lost he only nodded and kept crying. I leaned down to him and asked him his name, and still he couldn’t answer. Then we asked what his mom and dad’s name was, and he looked up with these big round eyes and said very seriously,
“My mom’s name is Mom, and my dad’s name is Dad.”
It’s amazing the power that fear can have over us, isn’t it? Its grip can be as cold and ruthless as tempered steel, literally freezing us in our tracks. The realization of being lost is such a hopeless surprise that our common sense can be literally stolen away.
When we sat down at our table afterwards, both of our kids began to recount “that one time“… you know, that time at the hardware store with my little girl, when she zigged and we zagged, and 30 seconds later… chaos. Or the incident with my boy, years ago in the grocery store. That memory of being lost is so etched in his mind that he was talking about it like it was yesterday.
But remember, when you were lost, how much greater was that feeling of being found? Even if you were in trouble and everyone was upset, there were still hugs! And the famous Motherly “body-check”, where they spin you around and make sure you still have 10 fingers and 10 toes, and most importantly, shoulders and ears. 😉
Being found is like walking out from the blue-gray, inky shadows into a warm, bathing ray of golden sunlight. Emotions wash over us, great valleys and peaks of them, and we remember being lost…because we were found.
The little boy at the restaurant was found, and he stayed less than half a step away from his family as they were walking out the door to the car. I could hear the big deep sighs as the calm was spreading over him, catching his breath, finding that peace that we so much take for granted, until it is lost.
I recently heard our pastor speaking about this. He said it best in his own words… “You never forget the experience of being found…Never…You’ll never forget the gift of Jesus, if you were a lost person, and you were found… The gift of Jesus is for the humble, the poor and the lost. He didn’t come just to teach a better way, or show us how to live, or heal the sick and raise the dead only. He didn’t even come to condemn the world…He came as God’s gift of salvation…Unwrap the gift of Christ so that you don’t forget that He found you when you were lost. You will never forget the gift of Christ.”