These recent weeks have been a season of lost and found in our family.
I have decided that either I need to be tested for early Alzheimer’s, or Olivia is one of the most amazing children at figuring out what is important to us and hiding those things in unimaginable places. As it turns out, maybe both are true.
Over the past few months, we have not been able to find several remote controls. (Thank goodness this isn’t our former home in Sendai, where the toilet was controlled by a remote!) We eventually found the TV remote in the pots and pans cabinets, hidden in the very back. (This was after the TV company had replaced it for us). We are still missing the DVD remote control, meaning if we rent a movie that has been dubbed in Japanese we can’t change it on the remote into English.
There have been things that we didn’t realize were lost that we found in the places Olivia placed them… the chicken consomme in my shoes by the front door; my hairbrush in Owen’s backpack; our spoons in a coat pocket. You get the idea. (Below- Olivia escaping in her pajamas with the plastic Easter eggs).
In addition to numerous remotes and random things, in recent weeks we have been missing two more expensive items: Eric’s cell phone, and my keyless remote key for our van. Eek. We became convinced that Olivia had thrown away the cell phone (she LOVES to put all kinds of things in the trash!); the keys we just had no idea where else to look.
Well, these two more expensive items, as it turns out, have been found, and are most likely a result of Olivia’s parents forgetfulness than Olivia! We found the cell phone last week tucked in the door pocket in our car; and the keys were finally found last night in the side pocket of the diaper bag! Sorry, Olivia….
Perhaps the most unusual lost came on Saturday morning, however. I was scrubbing the bathroom, and came out to find Olivia sitting on top of the dining room table, with my contact case open! I checked quickly, and the right contact was missing. I ddin’t see it on her hands, so I asked her where my contact was. She opened her mouth, and pointed inside… I was a bit in disbelief, but after checking everywhere, I believe that yes, Olivia ate and swallowed my contact. Now this is one item that we have decided we will NOT be searching for…
My cousin Charlie sent us an email last week about a seminary professor who had an atheist student, Tommy, not interested at all in theology. (You can read the whole story, and verify the story’s truth, here). On the last day of class, Tommy stopped by the professor’s desk and asked the professor if he ever thought he would find God. The professor, without looking up, answered, “No.” The student stopped, surprised. Then the professor said, “But I am absolutely certain that He will find you.”
Six years went by, and the professor got a call from Tommy. He had terminal cancer. But God, indeed, had found him, and Tommy’s last weeks were a wonderful testimony to the power of God’s love.
I was thinking about this story a lot last week. As we interacted at our Easter picnic with very dear friends who don’t know Jesus yet…I began to pray differently. Instead of just praying that they would find Jesus, I have been praying for them that they would know that Jesus has FOUND THEM.
Luke 19:10 is amazing – “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” His whole job is finding the lost. He is there, on our behalf, on behalf of humankind…seeking those who are lost. It makes our job, which sometimes feel daunting, filled with so much hope.
So, I pray today for our friends Naoko, Keiko, Kiyoko, Naomi, Y., Natsuko, Na-chan, Atsuko, Shiho, Yuko, Asami, Yuri, Ikuko, Tokiko… Jesus- find what is yours! Find these precious ones who are lost.
And certainly- this prayer puts into perspective things like remotes, keys, and contacts.