OK, I know that we always talk about the "lost" being "found" and that the Lord rejoices when we are found. I know the Prodigal Son. I understand the picture. At least I really thought that I did. I know different now.
My mom and I took Jordi and Laryn to Disney while you lucky people were at KAF. We had a blast doing the "girl" thing. Jordi and Laryn did Bibbitty Bobbity Boutique and were just precious. Well, the first day that we were there we went to Hollywood Studios. I haven't been there in years so we had to rely on the map quite a bit. I'm not used to that. We know the Magic Kingdom so well that we never use a map and we have Busch Gardens annual passes and don't need a map there. I'm not a good map reader and it's sometimes just easier to ask directions but the park was crowded and the cast members were hard to catch...and there's probably a whole teaching on maps here somewhere - but that's not where I'm going. LOL! OK, we have done the theme park thing 100s of times. I've taken all 4 kids by myself, so has Robbie we've done it together and we have NEVER lost a kid. At least not for more than it takes to turn around and see that they just got separated by another family. But as we came off the Star Wars ride, my mom and I decided that we needed to stop for a minute to see where we were and where we were going. Jordi was just in front of us and I reached out and grabbed her shoulder to tell her to hold on a minute. Then I turned and started discussing the map with my mom. 3 to 4 minutes later we decided where we were going and I folded the map up. I looked up and no Jordi. Laryn is standing right there, but no Jordi. Panick. Mom and Laryn stay PUT! I start looking through the gift shop that we were in. Lots of really cool stuff. Light sabers, picture booths, toys, shirts, but no Jordi. The place is packed body to body and if she is bending down Ill never see her. I get all the way to the front, take a couple of steps out of the shop and look. No Jordi. I go back in. All the way back to the back. Mom and Laryn STAY PUT! Back towards the front. Out the door again but further. No Jordi. I go back in. Up to the counter and tell the lady there that I lost my daughter. How old? 6. 6! She immediately tells the staff to "code Adam" and not let any children out of the shop. What does she look like? Well, Dora. With the same outfit on as that little blonde girl. We go up the ramp so that we can look down on the shop from the second story. No. She's not there. And I had these really CUTE orange bracelets made with a bunch of phone numbers all over them for just this reason. But we left them at home. Phone numbers. What have I always told my kids if they get lost? Find a mom with kids and tell them you are lost and to please call your mom. At that exact moment my phone rings. Have you lost a little girl? YES! She's in front of the Star Wars ride. I think that I hung up on the lady. I'm not sure. All I know is that I told the staff lady that we found her yelled at my mom and Laryn to follow me and I was off. I have never gotten through such a crowd that fast in my life. Outside, turn the corner, about 50 yards down the walkway. MOMMY! I get tackled by a pint sized linebacker. The lady says to me, "How old is she"? "6". "Wow. She was so composed. She just walked up and told me that she was lost and could I please call her mom. Then she rattled off her phone number". THEN as the lady says this Jordi starts crying.
Now there are a lot of lessons that could be taken from this about how we get lost and all, but the thing that I took away from this is just how desperate the Father's heart is for His lost children. I think that we take for granted that desperation and that single minded pursuit as more of an abstract idea that God wants to find us. As if we were a lost coin or a set of keys. You do NOT search for a set of keys like you do for a child. There is a no way that you are going to take a break from looking for a child. There is no way that you are going to stop until that child is back with you. Thinking about the Father looking for His lost children in that frame really puts a different face on our mission as Christians. I will be forever grateful to that lady that got Jordi back to me. But if she didn't have a cell phone she wouldn't have been able to call me. If she didn't have it charged she wouldn't have been able to call me. If she had ignored a little girl she couldn't have called me. We are equipped to restore people to the Father and so often we are unprepared or unwilling to do what we are charged to do...what we should WANT to do over anything else.
Just think about Jordi and ask yourself if you are ready to help someone who is lost.