by:  Cris Corzine-McCloskey

We had a scare last week. We took our four dogs to the walking track to let them run, then rushed to Kroger to buy groceries. When we finished shopping, we discovered Molly, our precocious Pekingese, was missing. In horror, we realized we had neglected to do a tail count before leaving the Crisp Complex. We had left Molly behind at the track!

Belting out frantic prayers, we sped back and began the search. We. Were. Petrified. God did us a solid, though, and had a kind woman pick her up, read her tag, and call to return our pooch. After we were reunited, we held Molly close and thanked God for her safe return. We rejoiced to have something so precious to us home where she belonged.

Honestly, I feel like a bad dog mom, but I know had she remained lost, I would never have stopped looking for her. The whole debacle has made me think about Jesus and His love for lost people. In the Bible, He calls Himself the Good Shepherd and calls us sheep of His pasture. He considers our lives more precious than His own, which was evidenced by the cross. He also says when we are lost, He searches for us and rejoices when He finds us.

As a formerly lost lamb, I remember how awful it was to be without my Shepherd. But until I lost Molly, I never considered what God must feel like when we are lost and in danger of not being rescued by Jesus. I wonder if He is as scared for us as I was for Molly? While Molly was missing, I had the luxury of asking God to help me find her, but who does God get to ask to help bring us home?

I think it’s easy to forget how precious we are to Him and how much His heart hurts for us when we are struggling. The whole world is lost and frightened right now, and I can’t help but wonder how He wants us, His Church, to be responding in all of this.

When I lost Molly, there was a woman out there kind enough to take her time to help bring my pup home. She looked at Molly and thought, “I bet someone’s looking for her.” Had she just walked by, too busy with coronavirus worries, I might be telling a very different story right now. I think God wants us to quit worrying about ourselves, and to look at people and think, “I bet Jesus is looking for them.” I believe He wants us to tell them they aren’t unwanted strays. They are lost sheep that are precious to the Good Shepherd, and He is looking for them.

I’m not afraid of this virus. My eternity is safe with Jesus. What does scare me is becoming so preoccupied with my own life I overlook His lost lambs. I want to help Jesus round up his flock.

A lot of people are saying we are in the “last days.” I don’t know if we are or not. What I do know, however, is that it is always someone’s last day. This virus is an excellent reminder of the fragility of life and how the world is still full of lost sheep who need to be safe in His pasture.

Molly’s dog tag reads “Precious” with my phone number on it. Thanks to a kind person reading her tag, we got a happy ending. From now on, assume every person you meet has a tag that says “Precious” on one side, and John 3:16 on the other. Be the kind of person that takes time to tell people what their tag says. You could be a part of their happily ever after by helping Jesus bring His lost lambs home.



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