Lost Things- and the God Who Loves Them

“Mom, are you still looking for Yuki?”

I can’t help it.  Even though my cat of fifteen years has been gone for nearly a week I keep hoping that she will come home.   In every room of the house I find myself looking out the windows, pressing my face against the screen so I can scan the whole length of the backyard or look down the street.  As I listen to the kids chatter at dinner I look out the window and search for kitty movement around the edges of the nearby untamed “park” where coyotes prowl at night.  After a brief “Hey, don’t call the cops on me because after sundown tonight I’ll be walking around the edges of your property with a flash light looking under bushes and decks and sheds calling “here kitty kitty” if that’s okay with you” with my neighbors, I did exactly that.  I’m still checking the shelter hotlines, posting “Lost Cat” pictures on Craigslist and getting the word out to my neighbors.  My friends sympathize and listen.  They know that it’s nearly hopeless.  My head knows that too.  But I still can’t stop looking out the windows.

As with all trials and challenges in this life, there are lessons.  And opportunities to know God more deeply.  That reality found me as my seven-year-old and I colored a picture of the prodigal son.  She told me that the son took his money and spent it on parties and clothes, but finally ran out of money and ended up eating pig food.    Then he went home to ask if he might be one of his father’s servants.

I found myself identifying with the father in the story.  While the son was away, never knowing if he was alive or dead, his father was searching the horizon- longing to see a figure with the stature and gait of his lost son.   While the father vigilantly watched and waited against all hope, his friends likely shook their heads and muttered, “Poor man.   His boy is never coming home.”  But the father couldn’t NOT look, his love of his son was so great.

People do crazy things when something they treasure is lost.  A shepherd has been known to leave ninety nine of shepherd-carrying-sheephis sheep to go find the one that has strayed.  And if he finds that lost sheep, there is such joy over that one animal, even if it is so scarred and bruised that the shepherd must carry it home on his shoulders.

Or the woman who has misplaced a one-of-a-kind precious coin.  How she will upend her home- turn the lights on in every room, sweep every corner, clean every closet, until at last she finds her that lost treasure.  And oh, the rejoicing! All the lost sleep and searching and toil was worth it.  Because there has never been another coin like this one.

These are the pictures that God gives us in Luke 15 of His relentless love for us.  These are the stories that Jesus tells to illustrate how precious you are to Him.  Friend, you are the one-of-a-kind coin that God has gone to great lengths to search out and find.  You are the sheep that was worth leaving heaven over.  However bruised, dirtied and disillusioned this world has left you, Christ is the Shepherd who will lift you onto His mighty shoulders to carry you to healing and safety.  He is the Father, never giving up hope that you will come home to the One who won’t discard you when you are out of money and party tricks.  His love for you has driven Him to do outrageous things, namely, humbling Himself to take on the nature of a servant and choosing the cross of our redemption.

Angels, demons and the Enemy himself must have been baffled.  They can’t understand God’s relentless love for us.

Over time, my human pursuit for Yuki will fade.  Life will bring new joys and challenges and displace this current fixation.  And I will move on.  But for now I get a glimpse of God’s unyielding love.  A love that is different from mine because it doesn’t waver with time and isn’t crowded out by new distractions.  God’s love is an eternal consuming fire that can never be extinguished.

God is seeking you.  He is watching for you.  He is searching.  And His love for you will never allow Him to rest.

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12 thoughts on “Lost Things- and the God Who Loves Them

  1. Except when you die and them he will send you to hell to burn for eternity…..in conscious pain……..something not right in this picture.

    • There is something right with this picture. We look a “justice” from our own perspective and perhaps the way we view God is skewed by our human failings. But who are we to judge God? A person has a choice to make and will make that choice to accept or reject God and his love, justice, and righteousness. Those who reject it will receive what they deserve once they are judged–according to God’s constant, not according to our situational ethics. God sends no-one to hell… people send themselves by rejecting him.

      You can reject God because you don’t like what he will do to you for rejecting him–which is pure folly–or you can look a the sick world around you and realize that it holds no better answer for “now” or “later”.

      Accept God’s righteousness through his son Jesus and let’s rejoice that you have made the best decision of your life. Then the question of hell is a moot point. But out of pity or concern for those headed there for their own stubbornness, reach out to them to rescue them as well.

      How many people are in hell for all eternity because we CHOSE to NOT SAY ANYTHING to them? Maybe their choices helped them find their way to hell but we did nothing to correct them if we remained silent.

      • Well I’ve never met a Father that would give up on his children when they need them most. My human love is stronger and better than the so called love your religion offers. When an all powerful, all loving God that is a Father to all expresses his love and salvation plan you would think that he would save more than a few that decide to believe the right things – there is something wrong in this picture.

  2. My sympathy is with you. It is always difficult to lose a pet. They are so much part of our lives – we take them for granted, and then they are gone from our lives too soon, leaving a hole in our heart. Just like people I have loved and lost, their essence stays with me in my heart. Their memories bring a smile to my face, even a chuckle. I still think of Molly (dog) every day even though she’s been gone for over a year and a half. She changed my life forever. I hope to meet her in the spirit world some day!
    Lots of love to you and your sweet Yuki!

    • I can totally relate to the hole in the heart, Judy. Molly and Yuki were one-of-a-kind and it causes me to worship God even more, the wonder that He could create this unique kitty to minister to me. 🙂 And the care that He took in creating her, and the delight that this aspect of His creation brought to our family. Love to you, Judy. Thanks for your sweet comments.

  3. In May of 2010, I fell ill with double pneumonia and had to be hospitalized for a week. During that time, my beloved cat Spice (who had survived her litter mate, Sugar, by several years) had a stroke and had to be put to sleep. My husband didn’t even tell me for fear that I would “relapse” because I was so close to this cat. I was so sick that, although I was very sad at the news, my most immediate thoughts were getting enough air and sleeping. As the days wore on and I got better, the hole in my heart made itself apparent…..painfully. I’m really sorry about Yuki and I hope, against hope, that she turns up.

    • Thanks Tisha. I’m a little embarrassed about how hard I grieve over the loss of my pets. They are certainly one aspect of God’s magnificent creation that we get to see up close. And that God has given us stewardship over them and entrusted them to us just adds more wonder to it all. (Psalm 8)

  4. Thanks for another interesting post and a thoughtful blog. For a searcher trying to find my way to God, you are helpful.

    -Ben Finiti [www.benfiniti.com]
    (aka Hans Moleman, mistermoleman.com, in my more combative moods)

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