12 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.
There is no greater fear than losing hold and sight of your precious child in a crowd; all you can see is a blur of heads and bodies that don’t belong to the one you love. You have no idea where they are or how to begin to find them.
Desperation grows by the second.
I’ve felt that panic and I’ve seen it in other parents’ eyes.
When we displayed our Haflingers at our regional fair year after year where thousands of people would pass by our stalls daily, we became unofficially designated as a “safe place” to go for lost children who knew their parents would know to look for them near the golden ponies with the snowy white manes and tails. We saw quite a few tearful reunions over the years and there is nothing like the relief and gratitude when the lost are found.
We are sought out when we wander; we are missed desperately.
We who are lost should seek out safe refuge with those who will protect us until we are found.
When found, we embrace and weep with the One who has risked all to look for us.
May my eyes see, my ears hear, my heart understand. He prepares me with parable.
Perhaps she came down for the apples,
or was flushed out by the saws powering
the far woods, or was simply lost,
or was crossing one open space for another.
She was a figure approaching, a presence
outside a kitchen window, framed
by the leafless apple trees, the stiff blueberry bushes,
the after-harvest corn, the just-before-rain sky,
a shape only narrow bones could hold,
turning its full face upward, head tilted to one side, as if to speak.
Morning settles around her like a silver coat.
Who among us does not feel this?
Everything around me changes faster than I can adapt,
I am lost
trying to find my way out
trying to find my way back.
I look for Who will take a moment to listen.
I need Refuge where I may rest safe.
I seek Sanctuary where I may settle in peace,
like a new morning.
I want my life back.
And when music comes to us
With its heavenly beauty
It brings us desolation
For when we hear it
We half remember
That lost native country
We dimly remember the fields
Their fragrant windswept clover
The birdsongs in the orchards
The wild white violets in the moss
By the transparent streams
And shining at the heart of it
Is the longed-for beauty
Of the One who waits for us
Who will always wait for us
In those radiant meadows
Yet also came to live with us
And wanders where we wander.
~Anne Porter from “Music”
as cold days linger in interminable gray
when energy wanes
sleep as refuge
instead of restoration
to wander this wintry path
alongside the One who
readies us for radiance
of bird song and sleigh bell frog chorus
of a promise kept~
this is not all there is