“Would the parent of the young girl with glasses, wearing a brown coat, please come to the front of the store?” As a child, I don’t know how many times I had to be found in the store, but if it sticks with me to this day, it must be something. Even now, this feeling and these memories are not some far away distant thing. It’s that feeling, in that moment, when you catch sight of someone you know, walking toward you. It’s when you recognize a familiar voice in a crowd, or you take and turn and suddenly see a landmark you know well.
Have you ever felt it? You suddenly relax, begin to breathe normal and your tension gives way to relief.
Being found? That is something and there is nothing like it! Whew- my adrenaline system knows this well!
But to be found implies you have been lost, maybe you have gotten turned around somehow or you feel a bit disoriented. Being lost or the memories of being lost can conjure up a lot of emotion. For me, I lose my bearings very quickly. I get separated from those I’m with, albeit the distance isn’t much, but I can’t see them or find them because they have stepped out of my field of vision. I suppose this isn’t really being lost but the feelings are the same. But it becomes about being found when it dawns on my friends that I’m missing and they come back to find me still in the petite section of the department store looking lost!
Are you remembering a lost and found moment right now as you read this? Does your gut get that feeling? Mine does!
Even though my thoughts are focused on being found today, the fear and the lost part of the story impacts us and remains strong in our memories. How many times have I told a story where the ‘being lost’ part is drawn out and in great detail, focusing on the panic and fear I felt, while giving little attention the ‘being found’ part? The being found part kind of gets the short end of the stick because obviously I was found or I wouldn’t be telling the story - right?
But as I begin to shift my thoughts, I’m asking myself, “Have I forgotten the wonder of being found? Have I been in that found place with Jesus for so long that I take it for granted?” Maybe you are like me, you have been found but you forget to remember how it felt in that moment when you recognized his voice or saw him coming toward you for the first time and the multiple times since then. Or Maybe you remember and know you are found but sometimes you are still nagged by the being lost part of your story - lingering on the wrong turns, your poor sense of direction or your down right stubbornness to stop and ask for help. Both are a part of the story but what do we most remember?
Whichever the case, today I am being nudged, and I’m nudging us together, to remember the moment, as well as the many moments, when the landmarks were made clear for us. I’m being urged to remember and to focus on being found. I’m being nudged towards thankfulness and gratitude and dare I say joy?
And yes, I guess I do know about being found- and I know we can’t take the credit. Oh we may have finally cried out for help or we may have had another call out on our behalf, but we didn’t initiate the find - Jesus did! He came and found that little girl with glasses wearing a brown coat and I’m so beyond glad he did!
In Luke 15 Jesus tells three parables about found things. Here is the response given by the father after he finds his son: “But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” Luke 15:32
Lord, thank you for this sweet, strong reminder today. Help me remember that it is you who called me to be yours. It is you who saved me according to your good pleasure. And it is you who are faithful to keep me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.