A frightening thing happened yesterday.
I lost one of my children.
I mean I couldn’t find him. One minute he was there and the next he wasn’t. I called for him and he didn’t answer. I called and called and called, louder and louder and louder. But still there was no answer.
The most baffling thing was, we were at home. We weren’t in a store or somewhere out in town. We were in the safety of our own home. And I couldn’t find my son.
I figured he was hiding. This had happened before. Levi hides and it’s your job to find him – whether you want to play the game or not. Normally the game of ‘find me’ lasts about 45 seconds before you hear him giggling. But it had been longer than usual…
I check in the closets.
I look under the beds.
I ask Olivia and Deacon to help look.
I am outside yelling at the top of my lungs, “LEVI!!!” “LEVI WALKER!!!!”
I pick up the phone to call the police… but I call Dustin instead. He answers. “I can’t find Levi”, I say half crying, half I don’t know what. I had never heard that sound in my voice before. I was surprised he knew it was me.
“What do you mean you can’t find him?”
“Well, I was getting ready in my room, I told him to pick up his toys before we left the house. I came out to check on him and he wasn’t there. I have looked everywhere. I have been screaming his name in the neighborhood. His bike is here. His shoes are gone. And so is my son!! I think I need to call the police.”
“Did you look in the car?”
“Yes I looked in the car! I have looked everywhere. But I will look again.”
As I turned the corner, I saw him. He was sitting in the front seat of the van wearing one of Dustin’s sweatbands on his head, his ears sticking out. I cried out. I’m not sure if it was a cry of relief or anger.
I hung up the phone. Grabbed my son out of the car, took him inside and very unceremoniously plopped his hiny on my bed.
I sent the other two kids to their rooms and shut myself in the spare room. I had never before felt what I was feeling at that moment. I knew I was not in control. I was literally shaking. I wanted to scream, laugh, cry, throw-up, shout, sing. I didn’t know which to do first. So I knelt down on the floor, held my head in my hands and just rocked back and forth.
After a few moments I felt more myself. I went in and talked to Levi about what had happened and how badly mommy was scared. He cried his little heart out. I was glad.
I had never felt so completely out of control. It truly was one of the most terrifying moments of my life. I am so thankful he has been found and is safe. That he wasn’t really lost, just hiding.
Later I asked the Lord, what can I learn from this? The passage in Luke 15 came to my mind. I’m sure if you have been in church for any length of time you are also familiar with this passage. It is the parables of the 3 lost things. First there is the lost sheep, second, the lost coin and lastly, the lost son.
Although each story is different, they all involve something that was lost, a time of searching, and finally,
*spoiler alert* what had been lost, was found.
I have a new perspective and appreciation for our searching Father. Although there is no panic on His end as there was on mine, there is still an intense longing to have us. And though He knows full well where each of us are hiding, He still searches us out.
I was reminded of the part that we play as well. Levi did not want to be found, therefore He made the process longer than it should have been. That brought to mind another verse in Luke 13.
“…how often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” vs. 34
Oh, God, make me willing! May I never hide from you, only in you and under the shelter of your wings!
“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” Ps. 32:7
I hope I do not have to experience those feelings of helplessness and sheer terror again any time soon. But I am thankful God used it to once again show me His Daddy heart.
Hmmm… It sure is quiet… I better go check on the kids…