Sunday, June 12, 2011

When the LOST is FOUND

I had to laugh today. I was just leaving church when I noticed I had a text from my daughter Shawna. She was missing her keys and wondered if I had picked them up last night when I left. I knew I hadn’t, but I checked anyway and texted her a “no.” “Please check again!” She said, “You are my only hope.”
When I arrived at Shawna and Ricki’s for lunch they were still searching desperately. They had actually been ready for church, with the kids packed up and in the car, before they realized the keys were missing. Obviously, they didn’t make it to church. Well, the search went on for the next two hours. Off and on, one of us would start looking all over again. Shawna was sure she had left them on the arm of the couch right inside the door, so I searched there repeatedly; under it, behind it, in every nook and cranny. 
She was ready to give up and call the car company to find out how to get a new set, but had gone outside to check the car one last time when, lo and behold, I reached into a fold in the back of the couch and there they were! We all took a deep breath and were able to relax. 
It wasn’t the first time today that I found what was lost. After church, one of our Messiah Village residents was looking everywhere for the cane she had laid down. She couldn’t leave without it, she needed it! Several of us joined in the search, and, even when she said she had already checked the bathroom, I told her I would check again. She insisted  that it wasn’t necessary, she had already looked there, until I told her, “Well, maybe a second set of eyes will help.” Sure enough, as soon as I opened the door I spotted the cane hanging on the back of a rocking chair. She was so surprised when I walked out with her cane, hadn’t she just looked there herself?
Then there was this past Thursday. Another resident was frantic because she had misplaced her purse. She knew she had it in the salon and was sure she must have left it there. Since there was no way she could concentrate on her physical therapy, or anything else for that matter, I told her I would go to the Salon and check for her, (even though someone else had already been dispatched on a similar errand.) Everyone there assured me that she had left with her purse in hand. She was so disappointed when I returned without it...her money, her hearing aides and other important items were in her purse, she needed it and would have no peace until it was found. 
On a whim I went to her room, opened the top drawer of her nightstand and was not the least surprised to find the missing purse. When I returned and dropped it in her lap the look on her face and the delight and relief in her voice were a perfect reward! All was well in her world again!
Three significant “lost and found” incidents in four days. How could I not be reminded of the three stories in Luke chapter 15: a lost sheep, a lost coin, a lost son. Three stories meant to remind us how much God cares about lost people. 
Have you ever considered the desperation that accompanies the searches for lost people? Think of the little boys or girls, the young women or pregnant mothers who have been at the center of so many highly publicized searches. What I find both heartbreaking and eye opening is the extent that a people will go to search for a physically missing individual and yet, there are people all around us who are spiritually lost, a far more dangerous and desperate state.
So here is my question, “What would it take for our efforts to “seek and save” the spiritually lost to come anywhere near the extent that we go after the physically lost?” Just something to think about...