We thought we lost him!
Panic seized us. We broke a cold a sweat. Heart beat raced rapidly. Eyes darted from one direction to another. Jeng looked behind the curtains. I crawled under the tables. We raced to the backstage. We scurried to the front.
We can’t see him. Too many people. Place too dark. How could we see him in this crowd?
It was only a few minutes but it seemed like hours…before we found him! At the back of the auditorium, cloaked behind a canopy of adults, our dear two year old Franco stood smiling, and totally oblivious to the trauma we endured the last several minutes. Jeng and I went down on our knees, took him in our arms and embraced him for what seemed like eternity…
It was close to a week ago when this happened, at the school Family Day held at a large dimly-lit auditorium where close to three hundred people were in attendance.
Yes, people saw a glimpse of how panicky this preacher was when I lost my child that day. Yet on that day too, this preacher also saw a glimpse of God’s heart whenever He loses one of His own.
Today, I read the parables of the lost sheep, coin and son. I’ve read these stories so many times, yet today, these parables took on a different meaning for me. And I attribute this somewhat unlikely reaction to the parables to the experience I just described above.
You see, as I tried to re-live my harrowing experience and the whirlwind of emotions I went through in those few minutes of looking for Franco, I couldn’t help but think of how God must feel whenever He loses one of His children.
The shepherd left the ninety-nine behind to search for the one that was lost. I dropped everything just to search for my child.
The woman crawled under the tables and overturned them to search for her one coin. I did the same searching for my one and only boy.
The father ran to his returning son, embraced him tightly and celebrated. Jeng and I went down on our knees, embraced Franco and rejoiced!
Now I truly understand much better.
The shepherd had ninety-nine other sheep and yet he wasted his time searching for the one that was lost. The woman had other coins but she was consumed with searching for the one that was missing. The Father still had another son, one more loyal and faithful. Yet he waited untiringly for the return of the one who was totally undeserving of his love.
The answer could not have been clearer. I know. You see, that’s what you do when you lose someone you truly love.
You search for him not because he is good but because he is loved.
Not because he is deserving but because he is forgiven.
Not because he is worthy but because he is worth it.
Not because of what he can do but because of what can be done for him.
This is the story of the Lenten Season. About a Father whose heart is constantly restless for the return of his beloved — you and me!
Take it from me. I somehow know. For a brief moment last week, I was truly blessed.
I was given a glimpse of the Father’s heart.
Yours in the Lord,