Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Lost and Found

It usually starts out with a neatly labeled bin (or two): Lost and Found. Most often located in a common area, these small reservoirs stand at the ready to temporarily stash a misplaced item. Sweaters, shorts, pants, belts, ties, lunch boxes, a single soccer cleat, jacket, a ball or two, a plethora of hair bows, a stray lacrosse stick, and more than a mountain of books accumulate with time. Seekers rummage through the growing pile of debris, some wondering if wearing surgical gloves would be prudent given the moldy applesauce spilling out from a not quite sealed plastic bowl. Nevertheless, the process rewards a few brave souls and saddens the rest (who are more times than not, the mothers of children whose items went MIA).

I've sorted through more Lost and Founds than I care to remember. Getting two boys through a school that required uniform polos, white oxford shirts, khaki pants, blazers, belts, and specified shoes meant impromptu rescue missions when the closet was bare and no school necktie could be located in the entire county. Even if the boys' level of enthusiasm was less than I preferred, I did my own little dance when we managed to find that pricy blazer (albeit sans a few buttons that made it distinctly theirs). 

Unfortunately, we didn't always find what was ours. But once in a while, like before Christmas break or at year's end, the school announced their intention to take all Lost and Found items to the local thrift store. Our loss would be someone else's gain, assuming they had a need for a used lacrosse mouth guard, a holey sock, or well-worn pair of pants. However, if you happened to be at school after the deadline to collect lost items passed, it often proved fruitful.

We found our share of castaway coats, hardly worn. New looking shorts and nice braided leather belts. Hoodies. Towels. A great backpack. How in the world would someone not go looking for such expensive items? How could they bare to part with these things without so much as a quick look through the bins? Though we couldn't understand their lack of concern, we gladly gave those items a new home; a new life.

I know the dark corners of that box. I've been in that box."Lost," it said. But I wasn't thrown in there by a careless owner. I deserved to be cast away. Lifeless. Worn. Dead as a doorknob. Of no use to anyone. No hope of ever crawling out on my own, despair my destiny. But someone found me. He reached in with that big, strong hand of His, pulled me out through the mess, and held me up in His light. "Ah," He said. "I've been looking for this one. I love her. She is my own. I will give her a new life, a new purpose. She will no longer be lost for I have found her."

Praise God.

"For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).


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