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Hide and Seek

I used to enjoy the game ‘Hide and Seek’. I think I became quite good at it. I can remember one occasion where it took my seekers longer than usual to find me. I had tucked myself in a small gap under my brothers desk behind the chair and between the wall and the chest of drawers. It was a great hiding place.

Hide and seek is no longer fun for me. The girls liked it but were both rubbish at it, like most other young children, so, I had to pretend to not know where they were. I hate that kind of pretending, so I’m glad that they no longer ask to play it.

I was lost once, when I was rather small. I can’t actually remember it but have heard the story on a number of occasions. However, there have been occasions where I have run away from home, much to the distress of others around me. They have mostly been in times of mental health crisis.

I once lost one of my daughters. It was one of the worst moments of my life. We were at a public fun day in the local park. We were with a group of friends. My eldest was queuing up for a climbing wall. I stood up to check that she was ok, and my little one wondered off in the few seconds that I had my eyes off her. Panic filled every cell in my body. I started the frantic search, turning quickly as I scanned the crowd for her. I was calling her name, and asking everyone whether they had seen her. It seemed to be ages and I thought I was never going to see her again. I dreaded having to tell Nick that I’d lost her, and having to report her missing to the police. I felt like the worst mother on the planet. A few minutes later, I found her. She wasn’t bothered at all. She hadn’t even noticed that she was lost. I hugged her so tight and prayed praise for having her back. My heart is racing, and a lot of those old feelings are flooding me, once again, as I type.

This morning, I read several chapters in the gospel of Luke. In chapter 15, Jesus tells three parables about things lost and then found. The parable of the lost sheep holds a lot of meaning for me. All of them, though, describe the same hope: that,  no matter how lost we are – spiritually, emotionally, physically – Jesus and Abba long to seek us and for us to let ourselves be found by Him. When we do, He throws a huge party to celebrate. It’s beautiful. This makes for a much better version of hide and seek!

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