I was preparing to head out the door. It was time to meet the co-op truck across town. They only come once a month and my order was pre-paid. I looked around the children in the living room.
“Where’s Melody?” I asked my daughter Ella.
At 15, Ella is often the one to swing our almost two year old over her hip and haul her wherever she goes. She had just come in from the yard.
She shrugged her shoulders and answered, “I don’t know. I don’t have her.”
“Where is she?” I asked. No one moved. No one blinked in recognition. They all just looked around the room and I looked at 4 year old Charis. She said she saw Melody outside.
“Are you sure?” I asked her.
Charis stared at me while measuring her words, afraid to say the wrong thing. All I knew was the last place we saw Melody was in my bedroom.
The sliding glass door.
My heart sunk into my stomach. I told a big kid to search the house. Melody sometimes takes herself into a quiet corner to hide or lay down to nap.
I ran outside with kids behind me. We spread out and canvased the yard. She wasn’t on the porch. She wasn’t in the green house, play house, with the kitties or anyplace we could see without going into the woods. I ran to the pond. I ran to the ledge above the old goat pen. My mind temporarily traveled to thoughts of the mama bear and her three cubs, somewhere out there.
Standing in the middle of 40 acres, I turned in a circle. I could hear Jesus talking to his Father. “While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost…” John 17:2
“You only gave me nine,” I cried, “and the smallest one is missing.”
There was a steep path up the back of the property, an easy path to the wood, and the long driveway to the gate and the road.
“I’m not God!” I yelled at HIM who is. “Which way do I go?”
I decided to take the easy path to the wood. I learned I could yell low and not lose my voice. I didn’t know I could run like the wind by trees.
I remembered Jesus’s words, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” John 10:27-28
Over and over, I screamed, “Melody, yell for Mommy.”
She’s always tearing her clothes off. I buttoned her into a onsie so she’d stay dressed, but the Minnesota cool is upon us. Surely she’d be cold.
“Melody, yell for Mommy!”
I heard crying and rushed up over the hill to find the 7 year old, fist at his mouth, crying. I hugged him and ran up the drive with cell phone in hand. The 4 year old was crying. A few more steps. The 11 year old was crying.
“How am I going to hear her with everyone crying?” I prayed.
Neighbor or 911?
A few more more steps and I had to remind myself to breathe.
Almost to the gate.
18 year old was heading back toward me, motioning forward while looking backward. “There’s a car,” she was yelling. “It’s the neighbor,” she said.
17 year old came running toward me with a gift, and I hugged cold, crying Melody to me. I couldn’t get her close enough. All of the children were jumping and touching and pulling her right out of my arms. So loved.
Where can I go from Your Spirit?Psalm 129:7-10
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
She’s only almost two. This loved, wanted baby walked a quarter of a mile in a onsie and pink oversized crocs, without me, but God knew where she was.
Are you a lost child or a found child?
God is everywhere. He never rests. Do you know, you are so very loved?
He is always calling the lost home. With Him, the lost are not hidden…they are just still walking.
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!Psalm 139:17,18
How great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.