Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Not Forgotten

Elizabeth asked to pray at breakfast today.  "Dear God, thank you for today. umm. I can't memember..."  I lifted my eyes to watch as my little girl lost hold of the prayer she had consistently prayed for months. 

We all have it memorized, "Dear God, thank you for today.  Help us find Mom's ring. Amen."

I watched her fidgety lips as she struggled to reclaim the wording that had flowed so easily for so long.  "Um...thank you...thank you us..." Eventually, Philip offered gentle conclusion as he squeezed the little hand he was holding and said definitively, "Amen."

I sipped my coffee and remembered the day my wedding ring was lost, and the dozens of prayers each of us have prayed. I wondered if vibrant faith was fading into muted complacency.

Lively breakfast conversation jarred me from my dismal daydream. I sipped again, and listened to the ideas darting across the table.

"Even Mom said it herself!  We may never find it."
"Well I still pray!  I pray that God will show me exactly where it is, so I can give it back to her!"
"That's a really good thing to do."

"Is it possible that it fell into the trash that day?"
"Wouldn't that be such a surprise to find something so valuable in the trash?"
"Who looks through the trash for stuff?"

Silently, I listened as a dad and his daughters munched and mused. And above the chatter, I heard a still, small Voice.

"I look in the trash for valuable things.  I will not forget."

With renewed faith in the One who loves me and knows the where-abouts of everything, I saw a deeper truth.

I was lost like that.
Separated from my rightful owner, I could not fulfill my purpose. I was trapped in darkness and surrounded by filth.  My beauty was tainted and my value unrealized. Seemingly abandoned, but I was not forgotten.

My Rescuer had initiated a cosmic dumpster dive as He came to live among us.  He acquainted Himself with grief.  He looked through the trash for valuable things. He remembered His own. He picked me up out of the yuck, washed me, and restored me to a purposeful place of abundance.

I pray that God will return my ring to me. More importantly, I pray that He will continue to work His perfect plan in His perfect timing. 

And in those seasons where my memory is frail, and the wording escapes me,
I stutter, "Dear God, umm, thank you..."
and I stammer, "thank you for, umm, help us..."
He knows my heart. He is a faithful Redeemer.  He will not forget.

"To the One who remembered us in our low estate ... His love endures forever." -Psalm 136:23

Dear God, help me follow Your example.  Help me remember the lost. Give me humility to go into the abandoned places of this world, heaped with rotting futility, steeped with the stench of suffering. Give me courage to look in the trash for valuable things.  Teach me Your economy. Give me Your love so that I can lead the lost into Your redeeming Light.