In a crowded museum I saw her, darting eyes, hands shoved in her mouth, wandering in circles. Slowly I approached her and crouched down and asked “Sweetie, are you lost?” Without words, she nodded slowly, eyes widening and inched closer to me. It took several minutes to find an employee who then took her the front desk. Still, I followed, and smiled reassuringly at this precious child until her mother found and embraced her. Then I simply slipped away with my children, grateful to know that the two were united.
I am sure that I am not the only mother whose radar picks up on the particular fear in a child’s eyes who is separated from their parents. There is something so instinctual that makes us want to see a lost child and a parent reunited. Conversely, when our own children are lost, we silently pray that some kind stranger will bring them quickly and safely back to us.
I imagine that Jesus might have viewed me with these same eyes when I was in my 20’s. One year I was lost in a lifestyle of partying and pretending. After having a few drinks too many, I remember wandering home, not really knowing where I was. I was afraid and alone. Something deep inside awakened to the reality that I was also lost from my true life with God. I made a bold decision to move out of the town where I was living back into a situation where I would be a roommate with a friend who loved and followed God.
I know that while I was back on the path of seeking God, Jesus was with me. He prompted me to call people for prayer, gave me greater wisdom about friendships, and eventually led me back to the place where I lived an authentic life with Him. However far we might wander along in life without knowing our authentic place, Jesus is always with those who seek Him.