By Tammye Hamilton
The sudden, loud wailing was so startling it commanded our attention. The young mother who stood a few feet from us at the theme park, sent up a panicked scream. “ALLLEXXX!!” she yelled with all her strength. It only took a moment to realize that she had lost a child. Security arrived and calmly tried to get information from her.
She never stopped calling her child’s name loudly as she desperately fished his picture from her wallet. The security guard relayed vital information on her radio. Alex was four years old. He had black hair and was wearing a blue shirt and denim shorts. He was last seen when the family exited a ride together.
Suddenly, they realized he was not with them. Now nothing else mattered. What people thought of her as she ran this way and that, yelling his name, was of no concern to the distraught mother. Her precious child was missing.
My heart raced as the scene unfolded. I stepped up next to her and tried to reassure her. She seemed unaware that I was even there as she doubled over in angst.
The panicked look on her face, her desperation, her extreme distress, all said the most important thing was to find her child. It was such a raw, jarring example of how deeply we as parents love and value our children.
It reminded me of the story Jesus told of the man whose son wandered away from home. The father waited and watched for him to return. Jesus said, “And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.”
The story Jesus told reflected His own Father’s heart for us. His heart is desperate for us. His love for us so overwhelming He did all He could to rescue us.
Jesus constantly communicated the Father’s concern for us. He told his disciples, “...the very hairs on your head are all numbered.”
How can we grasp how much God loves us, how He watches over our lives with great care? When we are lost or wander from Him, how His heart must burst to reconcile with us. How deeply He feels the loss of our presence! How much He longs to keep us close.
Jesus knew the Father’s love for us was the very reason He came to our world. He came through all eternity, outside time and space to find us, when we were lost. He came for us.
About five minutes after the heartbreaking episode at the theme park began, it ended joyfully as Alex and his relieved father came around the corner and straight into the arms of the sobbing mother. She couldn’t stop crying. He was safe in her arms.
See how very much our Father loves us, for He calls us His children, and that is what we are! I John 3:1