When my friend Emarie was younger, she ran away from home after a heated argument with her parents. But instead of actually running away, she climbed up to the roof of her house and watched her family drive away looking for her, still fuming over the unfairness she had just received.
In Luke 15, Jesus tells us about three consecutive stories on being lost – a lost sheep, a lost coin and a lost son. He paints the story of a shepherd who leaves his flock of 99 sheep to find that single lost lamb, the woman who tore apart her entire house for a single lost coin (probably the equivalent of a penny) and the father who celebrated at the return of his son who ran away from home.
It’s a beautiful thought to anyone who has ever felt invisible. Have you ever thought, “They’ll miss me when I’m gone?” As humans, we often convince ourselves that no one cares, no one truly cares and we feel so easily dispensable that maybe people would finally miss us when we’re gone or worse, not miss us at all. That’s what I love about this passage. It’s a reminder that even though we live in a world of disposable somethings, we have a God that cares about every single small molecule of a being. We are never forgotten or invisible in His eyes.
Sometimes we become so consumed in the hurt of being invisible. We convince ourselves that no one cares and we get this attitude of “you just don’t understand” that keeps us from enjoying our lives. But, there is always a different point of view of the situation. And it’s so easy to forget there’s another side to the story.
It’s interesting what a little perspective can do for us.
Each of these parables that Jesus tells us is from the perspective of the person who lost something or someone. We don’t know what the little lamb was thinking or the coin or the son for that matter. We just know that they are gone and the person who loves them most will turn the world upside down to be with them again.
Imagine what Emarie saw when she sat on the roof. She didn’t see her parent’s friends driving up to the house with party hats and casserole dishes celebrating the fact that their daughter was finally out of their hair. She didn’t see her siblings fighting over who gets her room or her dolls or her clothes. No. What she saw was a family who piled up into their blue seven-passenger van ready to scour the hills for a missing lamb, turn the town inside out for a missing coin, ready to embrace their runaway daughter.
Like I said, it’s interesting what a little perspective can do for us.
Sometimes when we’re hurt and searching for comfort, we need to change our perspective. Instead of sulking or running away, what we need to do is climb out onto our roof and see the world the way our Father in heaven sees it. I hear His view is breathtaking.