Carry Me Home
By Terry Brown of Pigeon, MI, USA
“Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ —Luke 15:4–6 NRSV
I have been fortunate to have spent much time in the great North American forests and on the Great Lakes. A still night under the stars or a wind-whipped rainstorm in an inadequate tent has served to remind me how insignificant and small I am in the universe. Strangely, almost magically, at the same time I have the assurance I have been placed here by a loving God whose hands surround me in incomprehensible ways.
I have sensed what it is like to feel lost during time spent in the quiet of a great fog on the lakes or in a deep and dark cavern shielded from all light. When unforeseen tragedy has intruded on me, I know what lost and scared and confused mean. I identify with scientific talk of effects of sensory deprivation—disorientation, delusion, and fear.
It is I who fears—who longs for the familiar. It is I who needs perspective to see beyond the constraints surrounding me. I call out, but does anyone hear my cries? If I decide to go out on my own, will I find my path, or wander into danger or injury or death?
To have Jesus thrust us onto his shoulders and carry us home! Fears erased. My shaking limbs lifted. Oh, to feel the strength of the Other, lifting me when I have no strength left! Oh, the reunion celebration on arriving home, when others thought I was lost forever!
Oh, that Jesus will take all the lost on his shoulders and bring them home. I long to celebrate the lost souls coming home to peace.
Prayer for Peace
May you comfort those in mourning, O God. May the lost find their way to our ever-seeking, ever-ready-to-forgive Good Shepherd. Amen.
Spiritual Practice: Going Home
Separate yourself from distractions in a quiet, safe place. Imagine yourself without your cell phone and car keys. You have no money or credit cards. Let it sink in. You have no place to go. Is anyone looking for you? Who are the other souls that wander around you, also lost?
Now imagine a loved one embracing you. Feel the warmth of touch. Before you leave the moment, lead your loved one to the other lost souls that have come into your awareness. Embrace, comfort, and walk them home with you. —TB
Today, God, I will be your arms for a lost soul.