One summer day Belinda took our only vehicle, our van, and left me at home with all three of our kids. She had her doubts, but I convinced her I could take care of them. I even felt confident about it! Imagine that! Our three children: Kristen, Jeremy, and Luke, were grade school age at that time.
I was doing my best when I realized that Luke, our youngest, who was about five years of age, was not around. He liked to hide from us, so I assumed this was a game. I looked in all the normal places and called for him until I was no longer amused. I went outside and noticed the gate to our fenced backyard in our suburban neighborhood stood wide open! Our Dalmatian, Princess, was gone, too!
Oh great, I thought, I’ve lost a kid and the dog. Lord, please don’t let Belinda come home now!
The minutes crawled by as I searched desperately for Luke. I called his name from every corner of our yard all the while aware I had two other children to watch inside. Every minute lost meant that the chances of finding him decreased. What if he was in trouble? What if someone had kidnapped him? What if he was in pain?
I don’t have words to describe the lump in my throat and the knot in my stomach but I bet you can imagine. I had flashbacks of when our daughter, Megan, had died, a couple of years prior. I felt paralyzed and frantic at the same time. It didn’t matter to me at that moment that I still had two kids who were safe. One was lost! That was what mattered!
I stood in the front yard and created a plan with a mental checklist. I would need to farm the kids out to the neighbors, call the police, and start a search. At that moment, Luke appeared at the end of the block, hot and exhausted, dragging an unwilling dog behind him. The story is that Princess had escaped from our backyard and Luke had followed her all the way to the neighborhood park. She had been headed for the nearby creek.
He had caught her by the chain and brought her back. My knees went weak from relief. I wanted to shout but what came out was more like a cry. My son was alive and he was coming home!
That day I had a new awareness of the urgent concern God feels for each of His children who are presently outside of relationship with Him. I must join Jesus in living SENT to help His children find their way home! -- Gary Kendall
Week 6, SENT, Day 3 Devo 28