“Put it in a safe place…” If I had a pound for every time I said this, I’d be half as rich as if I had a quid for every time I’ve also said “I did put it somewhere safe, and now I can’t find it.”
Squirrels are probably responsible for a high percentage of woodlands in the U.K. Their habit of burying nuts and seeds for their winter food store has benefitted us all. Like me, they lose things. They forget. Turn your back for 50 years, and look! An oak tree!
I’ve developed my forgettory-cum-losing-ability to a high level. “It was in my hand a minute ago!!!” is a wail frequently heard Chez Nous. Combs, keys, USB stick, pen, phone, letter from the doctor, wallet (!)… Almost anything can and does go missing and I am left looking like this squirrel. It’s SO frustrating!
My lovely wife tries to help: “Can you remember where or when you last saw it?”
No, my sweet, ‘cos if I could do that, I’d remember what I’d done with it… AND IT WOULD NOT BE LOST… In fairness, it has to be said that her record for actually locating the desired object is quite good. Perhaps she moves them??? It’s not lost, just put somewhere else. But thank you, thank you, thank you for helping me find “it”.
There is a fascinating moment in the Garden of Eden (I expect there were squirrels…) where God goes looking for Adam & Eve- and they have hidden themselves because of the first guilty conscience in the Bible. “We heard you, and so we hid” – or, “we made ourselves lost.” We had everything- and lost it.
As the history of humanity rolls out through the centuries, there is another special moment in the Bible where Jesus says “For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” (Luke 19:10)
Jesus met a dishonest tax-collector who had lost his reputation, integrity, and happiness- someone whom everybody else had written off and despised. The crowd weren’t too thrilled when Jesus when back to the rogue’s house for lunch. “Has Jesus lost it? Doesn’t he know that…” Yes, Jesus did know all about him- and loved the lonely lost rogue. Impact? A changed life, repayment of stolen money (with interest!), restored relationships… The one who was lost is now found.
This Sunday is Palm Sunday- the day Jesus came to Jerusalem and was greeted as King. A few days later and the public opinion was manipulated and changed- they lost it, and yelled for Jesus to be executed. And Jesus said, “Forgive them, Father, for they do not know what they do.”
Perhaps today is a good day to go looking for lost treasures, maybe the nuggets of truth, half-remembered Bible stories, past experiences of loving and being loved… or even deciding we don’t need to hide anymore from God. Whatever, whoever, the “why” doesn’t matter half as much as the fact Jesus came to seek and save those who are lost.
That’s what Easter is really all about.