"You who live in radiance
Hear the prayers of those of us who live in skin ...
Did You ever know loneliness?
Did You ever know need?
Do You remember just how long a night can get?
When You were barely holding on
And Your friends fall asleep
And don't see the blood that's running in Your sweat
Will those who mourn be left uncomforted
While You're up there just playing hard to get?" --Rich Mullins, Hard to Get
Last week at work a boy around nine or ten came up to the information desk to let us know he was lost. His shoulders were tense and his lips quivered, clinging tight to his teeth in a futile effort to keep himself composed without crying. The fear of being lost and the shame of feeling just a bit too old to be admitting it was painfully palpable. It's as if he was telling us to help him, but please forget he acted this way when his parents show up.
Things turned out ok. His dad showed up after taking his little brother to the restroom. But at the end of the ordeal, and over the past few days, there has been a painful realization come over me-- I am that kid. Over the past several weeks I have felt completely...Lost. From work to church to just every day living, it seems as if I've been left behind.
It all makes me think about that lone sheep that the shepherd left the other ninety-nine to go find. I wonder if that sheep found him or herself lost and was fearful at it's helpless state. Or was it like me? Did it get a little pissed that the shepherd and the other sheep didn't follow him down into the valley?
Regardless, the helpless feeling of being lost is no less painful even if you suspect your condition is all of your own making. Either way, you are still walking around in the dark, thinking that everyone else got the invitation to the easy party while you are left trying to find your way home. This feeling may not be justified, but feelings are feelings, no matter what brings them on.
Yet I suppose this is the reason Hope exists-- There has to be another option to being lost, or else the fear and shame would be nothing more than manic emotions with no root in reality. So I cling to Hope. And if Hope has taught me anything, it's that when you finally get found again, things will not be the same as before. Life becomes altered, but it becomes a little easier to walk, or at least crawl, in the New World you find yourself in.