Last night as we were getting ready to go to church for rehearsal, at some point Maya went missing. I thought she was in the play room with the other two girls and I slipped away to go brush my teeth and hair while Ricky loaded the carseats in the car. I came back a few minutes later to get them cleaned up and dressed. I called for Maya but she didn't come. So I started searching (not worried, just in a bit of a hurry). Couldn't find her anywhere. I called to Ricky to help me find her - still thinking that she must be hiding behind a chair or table somewhere. My house isn't that big so when I didn't find her in about five minutes I started to panic. I called to Syd and Elisa to help us look. We looked in bathtubs, closets, cabimets, in laundry baskets, in the back yard and the front yard all while calling out her name. After about ten or fifteen minutes of searching high and low I called 911.
He started asking me questions about how much she weighed or how tall she was, her date of birth, what she was wearing - most of which I couldn't remember because of the state of mind that I was in.
About a hundred scenarios rushed through my mind as I was running up and down my street calling her little name terrified that she wouldn't be found.
As the police were less than a minute away (I heard sirens), Elisa came out the front door yelling that they found her! At first I didn't believe it - I said "What do you mean you found her?" confused at how she could just suddenly show back up. Apparently she was hiding in the very back of my closet behind the low hanging clothes. What's crazy is that I looked in that closet twice - and even looked behind that rack of clothes! I called to her when I was looking in there and she didn't answer. I still am very curious about what was going through her little mind as she hid for 30 minutes without a peep while we were frantically calling for her to come out.
I can't even put to words how I felt when I thought she was lost - and how I felt after she had been found.
I wonder if that's how God feels about us. I wonder if He feels that same kind of pain when we're trying to hide from Him and refusing to be found. I know that He knows where we are and so doesn't experience fear. I wonder, though, if the pain He feels for His lost sheep is anything like the pain I felt last night about my little lost sheep. I wonder if, when His lost sheep return if He feels anything like I did last night when mine showed back up.
I think the part of all of it that still amazes me is that when we found Maya she had no idea anything was happening. I couldn't control my sobbing when I was finally holding her again - and she just kept looking at me trying to figure out what in the heck was wrong with her crazy mommy. She had no idea that she was the one that caused the pain.
I have a feeling that there's a lesson there for us. I'm still a little too weary and shaken up to explore it fully. But I know this. If God loves me more than I love Maya (and I know He does b/c He's the source of the love in the first place), then I know He must feel so much more deeply than I ever could for His lost sheep. It makes me want to pray so much harder for those lost sheep who mean everything to Him. It makes me want to look at people differently when I know how deeply the Father cares for them.
Last night was the hardest night of my life so far (and I've had really hard ones!). I pray that God will use what I've learned for His glory.