Monday, August 9, 2010
It was a mother's worst nightmare. I lost my baby. It was only for ten minutes, but it was the longest ten minutes of my life, and it taught me several lessons I will never forget.
I was packing the kids into the car as usual. I put Daniel (my oldest) in first, and came back inside to get Timmy (my baby). He wasn't in the usual spot that he is when he's waiting for me to put him in the car, so I thought maybe he had walked upstairs. He's very curious and active so at this point I wasn't worried at all. When I searched the house three times and didn't find him even when I called his name out, I began to panic. I started running back and forth down the street calling his name, but I couldn't hear him. I asked all the neighbors but no one had seen him. At this point, I was crying, out of breath, and begging God to help me. Finally, I heard him crying, but I still couldn't see where he was! My adrenaline was so high at this point, and my thoughts so crazy, that I was ready to barge into my neighbors' homes in case he had been kidnapped. Then, finally, I saw him across the parking lot in a big grass field coming towards me. It seemed as though he had walked out on the other side of the car while I was packing Daniel, and I because he's so short, I couldn't see him. I ran to him as he was running to me open armed. I hugged and kissed him over and over, while tears streamed down my face. He was barefoot and one of his little feet had got caught in something, which is why he was crying. It broke my heart to think that even for just ten minutes, my baby was lost, scared, and hurt.
Those ten minutes shook me more than I've been shaken in a long time. And with the recent drowning death of one of the youth from our church, tragedy was something that was on all of our minds...especially all mothers. That afternoon, I wrote him a letter in his baby book saying how he has been an angel and blessing in our life, even after just 18 months. It also made me realize that life is short, and all that I would want for my two children is that they know and love Jesus. Education, sports, friends, and all the other stuff we worry about for our kids will come- but the most important thing for them is to be a light in this world, reflecting His love and His goodness.
It also made me think of Christ the Good Shepherd, and how He is constantly crying and searching frantically for His lost sheep, just like I was for mine. He not only hears His lost sheep crying (as I did), but He can actually see them stuck in their own pit. I can't fathom that God loves my children more than I do- but He does. So imagine how much more frantic and sad He is when He sees His lost sheep hurting and scared? And the saddest part is that He has His arms wide open, and He desires that we come to Him, but many times we don't. We choose to stay trapped in our misery, either because we are chained to our sin or because we think that He won't want us back. When Timmy came back to me, I didn't yell at him for running away or not wearing his shoes, I didn't even remember any of that. I was just so happy that I had found him. And that's how we should think of our Lord Jesus Christ- the Good Shepherd. He is waiting for us, with open arms to hold us and never let us go. His love is truly unfathomable.