Have you ever stressed over a missing child? I remember a summer night while living in Decatur, IL. We had finished dinner and Sarah was busy cleaning the kitchen; I had gone outside and was scraping old paint off the house to prep it for painting. I can’t tell you how long I had been outside, but Sarah had the wisdom to do a head count and came up short – Mary was nowhere to be found. Not one to panic, I started looking around the inside of the house with Sarah and the remaining children. No Mary. We started looking around the outside, no Mary. As we started branching out away from the house, the neighbors could sense something wasn’t right and asked what the problem was. Soon the word spread that we didn’t know where Mary was and the neighbors joined in the search. Long story short, Mary had hopped onto a big wheel and took off. Someone we didn’t know saw a lot of people, now in a bit of a panic, saw a little girl on a big wheel and brought her pack to us. I can’t tell you how long we looked for her but I can tell you the longer Sarah and I looked, the more our hearts were breaking about this lost child of ours. I can also tell you when Mary was finally found, we did exactly what Jesus said we would do in today’s Gospel. We rejoiced with our neighbors – some we knew and some we didn’t – over finding our lost sheep named Mary.
Reflecting on this I’m able to get a glimpse at just a small fraction of the anguish God feels for everyone of His “lost sheep” or “missing coins”. I now also know the complete joy that is experienced when finding that loved one. If you’re reading this and you are one of those lost sheep – please look to find your way home. Know that God is looking for you and will rejoice greatly when you are found. If you know someone who is lost, keep searching for them until they are found. Again, the joy is immeasurable.
Do something great for our Lord today – seek the lost, find the lost , bring the lost back to God.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.
PS: 1632 North Union was our house in Decatur; Mary was found a couple blocks south of the house.