A few weeks ago, my Sister and I were walking out of a crowded local mall when a woman ran outside yelling like a crazy person. I turned around to find the most heart-breaking scene. Pale faced, tears covering her eyes and urgency in her steps… she quickly ran back inside. The air felt thick, the sky gloomed and the cold heart of those around was revealed as they turned blind eyes to this woman’s agony. I looked to my sister and we both turned around.
As we reentered the mall, we looked for the woman. Her frantic cry could be heard as she sobbed her daughter’s name. We approached her and asked her if we could help. The words rolled off her tongue as she stumbled over her them. This woman was not from here and the language barrier was an obvious obstacle. She stood out; the veil, the makeup, the accent. So many people passed by her. They starred at her as if she was crazy. Others knew she had lost her child and turned their faces. Many didn’t even look her way though they brushed arms with her.
She had another child with her, a little girl about 7 years old. Her eyes were tearing and fear could be read through them. She just looked out into space. I could tell my sister quickly connected with her, older sister to older sister. She comforted the little girl and reassured her that God was going to help us find her sister.
I ran into a store and asked them to contact Security and the Police. A small child was missing and the worst of scenarios could have happened. Was she kidnapped? Was someone hurting her? Was she crying in a store? What if she thinks her Mother abandoned her? Could she communicate? All these questions crossed my mind. In a nonchalant tone, the store attendant told me she didn’t have Security’s number. I’ll be honest with you; I wanted to ring her neck in the face of this great tragedy. I kept calm for the sake of the Mother. Eventually another store employee found a number and Security was on its way. But how much time could pass before someone did anything to find this missing 4 year old.
We decided to split. The woman remained around the entrance of the mall, her friend went down one hallway, my sister and I took another. We both took every other store. As I left each one, my heart grew anxious and desperate. Hope faded. Tears filled my eyes. Anger was rising. Mixed emotions overtook my mind and heart. Why wasn’t anyone else helping? What if everyone united and helped in the rescue of this little girl? I felt like yelling and scorning the people. A child was missing and they only cared about their agendas. However, the search continued.
As we approached the end of that corridor, my sister sees two security guards coming. Sure enough they are holding a little girl, each holding one tiny hand. Relief and joy filled our hearts and we began to run back and tell the woman the great news. Her child was lost but now is found. We see her standing where we left her and told her the good news. They were taking her to the store that called in the missing child. She shook as she waited for her daughter. We broke down in tears as the little girl made eye contact with her mother. She was still at a distance.
Mother, daughter and sister are reunited, they hug, they cry and I cry. Relief settles in and we say goodbye to this woman. One last word with her, “I told you God would bring back your daughter. God bless you.” It was apparent that she had a lot to say to us but overcome by emotions she was at a loss for words and simply said, “Thank You.”
We walked out of the mall very and into the car. My “righteous” anger towards the people in the mall quickly turned in to compassion for them, how could I ask them to help me find a missing child when they too where lost people. Waves of thoughts came over and up until now haven’t really settled in my mind and heart.
When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. 1 Corinthians 9:22
The world we live in is much like this missing 4 year old, they have a home, they have a parent and a family longing for them but they are lost. They wander around aimlessly, walking on a path that seems right but in the end leads them farther from home.
We who claim to love Jesus and carry His name are doing a terrible job at bringing them home. We are aware of the need yet we turn our faces from them. God has placed us where we are today to lead the lost home. Just thinking of the agonizing cries of the woman puts us to shame when we look at it through spiritual lenses. Are we crying out to God for the lost? Is their an urgency in our hearts for the lost? Are we relentlessly searching for the lost? I pray that we would be a different generation, not passive in reaching the lost and proactive in searching for them. You have been blessed and baptized with both the power of the Holy Spirit and with fire (Matthew 3:11), don’t be afraid nor ashamed to reach the lost.