Finder of All Lost Things

lost and found The best part about working at a university food court stems from the fact that the students tend to lose things. Car keys, apartment keys, student IDs, wallets, cell phones, books, laptops, even entire backpacks. You’d be surprised at what tired and hungry students leave behind, once they’ve inhaled a Chick-fil-A sandwich and hurried on to their next class.

Their loss of these important items isn’t, of course, what makes me happy. And certainly the very worst part about my job is when I go to our lost-and-found in the back office and discover that what has been lost isn’t there. Then, I dread going back out to the dining area and telling the student that their lost item is, sadly, still lost.

I hate the look of disappointment, even fear, in their eyes. There’s the unspoken question: “Well, if I didn’t leave it here, where is it?” And of course the all important: “Will I ever find it?” What does one do, after all, without one’s credit cards, car keys, driver’s license…or the laptop on which is an entire semester’s worth of work.

When even one thing is lost, everything is wrong.

(At those times, I understand why some throughout history have been tempted to kill the messenger.)

But it’s completely different when I do find their item in lost-and-found. Then, when I return bearing what was lost…ah, the joy! The relief. The thankfulness. Even the laughter. One young man practically did the happy dance the whole time I was carrying his backpack toward him across the dining room. Had I not been an old lady, I think he might even have kissed me for the joy of regaining that lost bag.

How I love to see that joy. And so one day not long ago I thought to myself, “If I could have any job, I’d like to be the finder of all lost things.” Kind of like Holden Caulfield who wanted to spend his life simply being the catcher in the rye—the one who protects the children playing in the rye field by catching them if they get too close to the cliff. I’d like to be the one to find all the lost items and present them to the owners, simply so I can see them rejoice and break into the happy dance.

But then, if I were the finder of all lost things, wouldn’t I simply be taking after my Father? Isn’t that what He does, what He has always done for the sake of love? In fact, that’s the whole story, the whole point of history—God redeeming what was lost and bringing it safely home.

My cousin became a Christian when she was 50-something. When she wrote to tell me about her baptism, I was struck by the simple and yet profound way in which she summed up the change in her life: “Everything feels right now.”

Of course it does! When we are found—claimed by and held steadfast in the love of God—all that was once wrong in our lives comes around right, and we are able for the first time to truly know joy. Thanks be to God, the finder of all lost things, who pursues us so that both His joy and ours may be complete.

10 thoughts on “Finder of All Lost Things

  1. Another aspect comes through how God never gives up looking for the lost, just as we, who have lost something of value, never give up until we find it. I just realized that says two things. First, we are valued by Our Creator, Who made us and loves us always. Second, Jesus pursues us relentlessly and won’t stop until our final breath.

    I have lost two valuable things n the past: my wedding ring and a pair of tickets to see Les Miserables, the Musical at an off-Broadway theater. One valuable in what it means to me, the other because of the cost. We each mean much to the One Who made us, and we cost Him greatly–the life of His only Son.

    Yes, I found both items, but only because I never gave up. Both times, I almost did, and I found both in unlikely places. My ring lay under the tube of toothpaste on the tiny ledge of our sink, which was unlikely because I never take my wedding ring off and that ledge was so small that I never would have laid it there in the first place.

    And the tickets? During my day-long search–the day OF the show–someone suggested looking in the trash, which I said was unlikely because who would throw away $50 tickets? Well, you guessed it! I finally gave and went out to the garage and found them, thankfully intact and not covered in icky garbage. It’s still a mystery how both got where they were, but I didn’t care; I’d found them! Just as God doesn’t care where He finds us or how dirty we are; He’d found us and will take us home!

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  2. Scripture says there is huge rejoicing in Heaven when a lost soul accepts salvation. Amazing grace: I once was lost but now I am found.
    Hallelujah to Yeshua Messiah for His sacrifice which means we don’t have to stay separated from ADONAI, we can call Him Father!
    Thank you for another GREAT blog, dearest BFF!! 💜💜💜

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