When We Are Found

“Did you look under all the couch cushions in the family room,” I yelled from the living room as I slipped my hand into the crease between cushions and frame of the couch.  “Yes Mom, I told you I have checked several times and they aren’t there. I think I left them at a friend’s house.”

It’s the last ditch effort to find my son’s missing glasses. The silver Perry Ellis frames with the transition lenses that cost about one hundred dollars more than the first pair, the black plastic frames from Wal-Mart.  They’ve been missing for months and we decide to do one last treasure hunt on our way out to buy a replacement pair.

Trying to find missing objects – cell phones, flash drives, keys, bank cards, money, lunch boxes – it seems to come on the heels of reaching the teenage years.  It’s a familiar routine, one accompanied by a mother asking her child to be more responsible.

I think of the parables on the lost found in Luke 15:  The foolish shepherd who finds the lost sheep, the careless woman under lamplight and broom to find the coin, the son who squanders his life and returns to his father when he comes to his senses.

The deep sigh of rejoice in the finding, the love breath of God exhaled when the lost return to Him. I hope to realize that deep sigh of relief in this moment.  And for the souls dangling loose in the wait.

On the way to the store, I daydream out the sunny blur of the car window when H startles me back to reality with the question, “Did you actually call them to ask if the glasses were at their house?”

“No,” I replied. “Don’t you think they would notice a pair of stray glasses lying around and tell us? The boys would know that they are his glasses, since they don’t wear any themselves.”

He gives me the look.  I agree to call, just to cover all the bases (and make everyone in the car happy).

And after I ask, she hesitates. The silence squints.  “Just a minute she says, we did have some glasses but I thought they were my mothers. She is always leaving her glasses at my house, so I took them to her house.  Let me call her and I will call you back.”

Two minutes later, we discover the missing glasses were exactly where my son said they were all along.

I hang my head in sorrow.

I am the older brother in the fourth parable Jesus tells in Luke 15. The one about the good son checking off the list of self-sufficiency, doing everything “right” and blinded by the obvious.  A mirror image for the grumbling Pharisees listening.

And just like those lost glasses, Jesus is out looking for us in our lostness while we sift among the respectable, dressed in our finest self-sufficiency. When I think I have it all together, stand safe in my square on the moral grid of life next the predictable, I miss being found like a diver discovering treasure at the bottom of the sea.  I only know what I experience on the surface.

Counting the Multitudes on Monday with Ann, won’t you join me?

  • Finding the glasses, even though he still wears the cheap pair anyway.
  • That He never tires of looking for the lost, all of us, His children.
  • For the milestone, my daughter who turns sixteen this week.
  • Conversation with friends that transport to another place, give perspective.
  • Prayers of the people that sound like a life transformed.
  • Dinners with friends, a reprieve from cooking for two nights.
  • For lots of rain that fill ponds back up for the ducks.
  • The little girl who sings worship songs next to her Dad without looking at the words.
  • The toddler wearing the padded spiderman suit and the pacifier to church because no one told him he couldn’t.

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59 Responses to When We Are Found

  1. Shelly, I can so relate to this story. My two youngest children both wear glasses. (They are so expensive to replace!) I love how you connected this experience with the parables. So beautifully written.

    • The crazy thing is that he is still wearing those cheap black frames we bought him before the nicer ones. He looks cute in them but it makes me laugh. Always happy to connect with you Denise.

  2. Jhunnelle says:

    Wow I finally found your site, the link you wrote gave me an error everytime i click it, I googled your site instead.

    It’s a blessing to read your post, last night God reminded me of the word “self-sufficient” and yes He reminded me once again while reading your post.

    I followed you and liked you on FB.

    • I am so very impressed with your determination. I think we are sure to be fast friends. I am so glad to meet you and thrilled that you are joining this little community on the web. I am so sorry you had such a time linking back to me but glad we found each other. Look forward to more conversation.

  3. I am so blessed to have found your blog today. Your story really spoke to my heart. You have a beautiful way of weaving words and pictures together to create poetry. Thank you!

  4. Such beautiful writing and photos. And isn’t that the way it often happens? When we really follow our children’s lead they teach us something we thought we already knew.

  5. Paula says:

    Oh yes, blinded by the obvious….that IS me sometimes! Loved your thoughts and “connections” as always.

    • Well you did a good job picking out birthday gifts for the girl. She opened them last night and when she saw the skirt she said, “I was going to order this!”. Her aunty knows her well.

  6. Tereasa says:

    Your words speak straight to my heart. Oh, how often I trip over thinking my self is sufficient! Beautiful analogy.

  7. Stacey says:

    Smiling at seeing myself in your words here today.
    Thanks friend for being back with Write It, Girl!

  8. Sarah Koci Scheilz says:

    Shelly, friend, I love this analogy. A precious story, as always.

  9. Oh isn’t that always the way :) love your story thank you for sharing!

  10. It has been such a blessing to “find” you…well, you some how found me and the meme…but each time I read, I am blessed.

    You weave beauty together with ashes…amazing gift He has given you.

    Thank you again for sharing and joining us! Such a blessing.

  11. I think the padded spider-man outfit might be a growing fad. We had one at our church this weel too. I appreciated the post today!

  12. If I had a nickel for every time we’ve gone on one of those house-sweeping searches, well…

    yes, He keeps looking, and finds the treasure in each one of us. So thankful, So, so thankful. A beautiful sharing, Shelly.

  13. Beth says:

    Our children have a way of putting us in our place as parents! :) So glad you found the glasses and that you are rejoicing in all the mundane and beautiful of life!

  14. Kathleen says:

    I’m so glad you found them! It was such a relief for us to be glasses-free after my little girl had eye surgery last summer, for exactly this reason.

    • Oh wow Kathleen, my son just has to wear them to see things far away. But he does wish at times he didn’t have to wear them at all. He is the only one in our family needing glasses, excpet for the million pair of readers I have laying around the house.

  15. love your list!…let’s think that someday it will be us over a shared dinner, enjoying in life conversation :)

  16. Liz says:

    Beautiful images Shelly! You write well too. Thanks for your lovely comments on my Blogger :)

  17. Ah… how He uses the simpleness of our everyday life to humble us and remind us of our dependence on Him… this story is written so well, I love your word pictures… and this “Jesus is out looking for us in our lostness while we sift among the respectable, dressed in our finest self-sufficiency. ”

    I know the garb of self-sufficiency and often fallen dirty while wearing it.. this is just lovely…

  18. Yes, WONDERFUL storytelling. And I love the spiderman toddler. That is my son, minus the pacifier. It mortifies my husband, but I think ‘You’re only young once.’ ;)

    • I loved him too, so much freedom in that spiderman suit. We might be doing those kind of things if someone hadn’t told us we couldn’t! It was a good reminder to be myself funny enough.

  19. Beautiful post as always, Shelly! I had a good chuckle about the spiderman suit…we have a couple children in our church that come every week in costume. they make my day : )
    So glad the glasses were found! and happiest of birthdays to your daughter!

    • Thanks Nikki. You know, I might have been one of those parents telling my kids they couldn’t dress that way in church. But I was jolted by the freedom in it. Now off to celebrate my daughters birthday early because her Dad will be out of town on the real date. A week of celebration is what it has turned into!

  20. Rebecca says:

    Yes. Been there and done that and have also held my head down. Sanctification through our children! ‘Sift among the respectable, dressed in our finest self-sufficiency’ – beautifully phrased and very thought provoking! Thank you for posting today and helping my heart to soar.

    • Oh Rebecca, it is a reminder of His grace isn’t it when we get these head hanging low opportunities? I often wonder how I would have learned all these lessons without my children! So glad to connect with you today.

  21. roseann elliott says:

    oh yes…I think all moms can relate…Daughter turning 16…is this your first driver?
    Enjoy this week of celebration…blessings~

    • Yes, it is our first driver. She had a car accident in her second week of driving. Someone hit her from behind and totalled the car. A devastating and traumatic first start but so thankful it wasn’t her fault.

  22. Nancy says:

    Yep. I could have written this. Not as well as you, of course.

    Love the Spiderman suit!

  23. Kelly says:

    so grateful He never stops looking for us! blessings to you!

  24. Lovely photos and post Shelley. Thank you!!!

    All good things.

  25. Alida says:

    I love your photos and the way you tell a story. This was truly inspirational!

  26. Oh my, this is lovely. And spot on. “Dressed in our finest self-sufficiency…” skewered on that one. Oh yes. Thank you.

  27. Been there. Done that. Lots of times.

    These photos are incredible.

  28. Oh yes, Shelly, this: “When I think I have it all together, stand safe in my square on the moral grid of life next the predictable, I miss being found like a diver discovering treasure at the bottom of the sea. I only know what I experience on the surface.” So much truth there, meant especially for me.

    I just love the way you tell a story, girl.

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