By SOPHIE DRUFFNER
When his parents saw him,
they were astonished,
and his mother said to him,
“Son, why have you done this to us?
Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.”
And he said to them,
“Why were you looking for me?
Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”
I get lost a lot. On my driving test, I missed a couple of turns because I was so focused on holding my hands in the ten and two-o’clock positions, focusing on the mirrors, the road, and the unreadable expression of my graders. When I was little, I used to be so focused on following the bright red of my mum’s turtleneck through the crowd that I would look up ten minutes later and find that I was following another woman’s bright red turtleneck. And in the first few months after I bought my car, I would wander around the streets of Plano which I had driven for years, with no idea of where I was.
Humans get lost a lot too. We’re on the right path, being nice to everyone and being good Hindu or Christian or Muslim or Jew, and then suddenly, something happens and we have no idea of where we are or how we get back to what we were like before. An argument sprang up and we said something cruel. We were tired and we accidentally snapped. A sister or child was annoying us and we reacted with a slap.
Of course we can always go and confess, of course God is always the for forgiveness. BUt God has feelings too. Every time we get lost, he reaches out to try to guide us back on the path; sometimes we refuse the hand, and he is hurt. But in the Bible, he just keeps coming back.
Sometimes parents give up on their children. It’s not that they have unrealistic expectations that they drop, but sometimes, they just stop trying. A disobedient child is allowed to do whatever he wants. A spoiled child is given more things. A child who is depressed is ignored. But God never gives up on us. He offers us so many instances of beauty to lift us out of our days--the beauty of the trees outside, the amazing infinity of the sky, the smile of another human being, a particularly good meditation.
But God the Father never, ever gives up on us. When His Son was dying on the cross, his son said everyone’s name. Maybe not out loud, and maybe it wasn’t recorded. But he was dying for every single one of us, and because nothing is impossible for God, in every drop of blood and in every gasp was every name since the beginning of time and even the names of those who only He knows--those who never lived long enough to be named, those who died nameless.
God knows your name, and he knows that even if you may be lost, he will guide you back--all you have to do is ask.