Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | October 25, 2011

Lost and Found

This past Friday morning, I was reminded that there are few things that can be as frightening and frustrating as getting lost in a strange place. The reminder came to me in the form of a small and elderly Chinese woman standing on the sidewalk in front of my home. When she saw me walk out my front door she earnestly motioned for me to come near. When I approached, she spoke to me in Chinese while bending to trace what looked like numbers on the sidewalk. “English?” I asked. She shook her head and continued speaking to me in Chinese. Then I remembered that I had a Mandarin Chinese language app on my iPhone and motioned for her to calm down. I tapped on the appropriate phrases and when she heard the electronic voice on my phone speak Mandarin, she smiled. We now had a basis for communication. Using my iPhone app, I managed to find out that she was lost and could not find her way back to the place where she was staying. I felt a mild sense of relief.

Step two β€” I asked her to type the house address into the calculator on my phone. She did. I now had a house number but no corresponding street name. When I motioned which direction to go she could not tell me. So, I invited her to get in my truck and we drove up and down every street in my subdivision. However, I could not find the house number she had given me on any of the streets near my home. And although she had a cell phone, she could not reach the person she was staying with. But, after a few more attempts, someone finally answered. It was her daughter. I explained that her mother was lost and I was trying to get her home. The daughter thanked me and gave me her home address. The house numbers that she gave me did not match those that her disoriented mother had given me. However, once I had the correct information, I punched the info into my GPS and headed to her daughter’s home. When I stopped to let the little lost lady out of the vehicle she said, “Sank you, sank you, sank you.” I smiled and said, “You’re welcome.” Then, she stood and waved as I drove away.

Someone once asked the great frontiersman Daniel Boone if he had ever been lost. Boone did not hesitate β€” “No, but once I was a might bewildered for a few days!” Lost or bewildered, those who have no idea where they are need someone to rescue them and show them the way home. That’s what Jesus came to do. He defined His mission in these terms β€” “to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). Jesus told a story about a shepherd who had one hundred sheep but went in search of one that was lost until he found it (Luke 15:4-7). And He told the story of a woman who turned her house upside down until she found a coin she had lost (Luke 15:8-10). Jesus also told the story of a father who had two sons, the younger of whom left home and lost his way. When the young man finally found his way home again, the father celebrated his return with a great feast, telling everyone who attended, “For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost and is found…” (Luke 15:24). In each case, the recovery of what had been lost resulted in rejoicing.

As Christ-followers we have a responsibility to help those who are spiritually lost or disoriented by pointing them to Jesus who is “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Jesus said that “there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance” (Luke 15:7). I’m glad I had the opportunity to help a little Chinese lady find her way home. The joy on her face when she saw her home reminded me of a greater joy that awaits those who will one day see Jesus because we helped them to find their way home.


Responses

  1. Outstanding. You are easy to love Omar. C ya in 2.

  2. Hey pastor, great history….blessings

  3. Omar,

    She reminds me of us in Dhaka when the group left us and we had no idea how we were going to get back to our hotel. We didn’t even know what direction it was in. The restaurant manager drove us to the hotel just like you drove this lady to her house.

    Another fun adventure πŸ™‚
    Lee

    • Lee,

      I will never forget that adventure, or perhaps misadventure. It was a really sick feeling being left behind and lost in Dhaka! Only by the grace of God did you and I survive those early days of travel together. He certainly watched over us.

      Omar~


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