What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the pasture and go after the one that is lost
Feeling lost can show up in our lives in all kinds of ways for all kinds of reasons. It can be disorientating when we leave a job, find ourselves with an empty nest, experience a grief or when we’re transitioning to a new home or a new way of life. Moments of lostness are common as we move forwards on our spiritual journey. We shed old versions of ourselves, we grow, change, develop and connect more deeply with what is true about us. This process of shedding can feel vulnerable and be accompanied with a sense of having lost our bearings.
And yet… it is only the lost that can be found. It is only the lost that can be found.
Jesus, told a parable …
Then Jesus told them this parable: “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the pasture and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders, comes home, and calls together his friends and neighbours to tell them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my lost sheep!’
This parable offers reassurance, a promise that however lost we feel, the one who loves us is already on their way to find us.
I can’t imagine the sheep in this instance knew how to make itself found, it simply had to wait for rescue.
There are times when the sense of being lost turns into re-rooting as circumstances change and our bearings are restored.
Then there are times when all we can do is wait to be found, to be placed on broad shoulders and carried home. This waiting to return home can be painful and invites us to trust even when we don’t know when our home-coming will be. As we live with the fragility of having lost our sense of home and rootedness we can feel vulnerable. In this place of vulnerability we may need extra kindness, care and gentleness. In our fragility perhaps we’re invited to hunker down into what provides shelter.
I love this short poem by John O’Donahue as it offers hope in the waiting and reassurance that our being found will come… I want to read it slowly a few times and invite you to welcome the words to be a gift towards your lostness and to bring reassurance where it’s needed…
This is the time to be slow,
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes.
Try, as best you can, not to let
The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself
And your hesitant light.
If you remain generous,
Time will come good;
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise,
Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning.
May you be encouraged today that those that are lost will be found. May you know that your Beloved has already set out to find you and knows exactly where you are. May you experience tender care towards your fragility as you wait. May you find your feet once more on fresh pastures of promise.