“I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Matthew 15:24
The children were in the back seat and my spouse was in the passenger seat next to me. We were driving around Boston trying to get someplace. We were lost but I didn’t want to admit it. When my eldest child said with a giggle: “Hey, that’t the third time we’ve gone by that building!” and my wife gently suggesting we ask someone for suggestions, I had to admit it.
There’s a difference, I’ve been told, between being “lost” and “getting turned around”, one suggesting a more serious condition than the other. We weren’t really “lost”; we were just temporarily turned around.
Simon and Garfunkel sing it in “America“. ” ‘Cathy, I’m lost,’ I said, though I knew she was sleeping …” Two young lovers walk off to “look for America”, but they have really walked off together in search of themselves. “I’m empty and breaking and I don’t know why.”
Sometimes it can feel as if life is a bus ride to no where. But I read about two young men who stowed away on a ship. They had been living under a bridge in South Africa and they believed there had to be something better for them in life. With some orange juice and a loaf of bread they put their hope for a future on board a big boat going wherever it was going. Several days out to sea they were discovered. Their food and juice had run out. They were put on a small raft and set adrift. Now they were really lost. Their search for a life would cost one of them everything; he didn’t survive. The other man was found, picked up, and eventually deported back to South Africa. He ended up under the same bridge, awaiting his chance to stow away again.
Jesus is here for the lost – first for those in Israel who had lost their way because they had been convinced by the powerful that they didn’t matter. In the reference above, it is a foreign woman – a Canaanite who is looking for healing, and ultimately Jesus grants her wish, thus pointing to the expansion of his ministry “to all nations”.
Perhaps you are lost today … or you know someone who is losing it. You can keep going around in circles. You can stow away on some scheme that promises wealth and power. Or you can turn to Jesus. There is nothing wrong with stopping for a minute and prayerfully asking for directions.
A blessed Tuesday.
Remember this story about the teenage stowaway in the wheel well of a Boeing 767 who wanted to see his mother?