The days of young kids wandering loose, much less a mall is an extremely rare sight. It does not matter if you are in Moscow or Singapore, rural America or India. Despite the fact that most parents grew up in a different era, today’s attitude is to protect children at all costs! Supervision is a given. Safe, confident, experienced supervision is considered normal, almost mandatory. Usually this translates into close family and friends. Rarely does it ever extend to those unknown, no matter what the circumstances.
I watched him with great interest. He had a confident stride. As he window-shopped, natural things of interest seemed to draw him into long period of silent reflection. Yet it was more than just obvious items. Even items of little obvious connection were objects of extended examination through the glass. My eyes kept drifting in larger and larger circles, looking for someone, anyone that was part of his extended shopping experience. The reason for my concern was simply this; the individual in question was not even four years old.
There are often days, weeks, where I am just like that four year old. I walk with a confident swagger. I let myself be drawn to objects I know are of interest. I also loose myself with things in any other time and place would be of little interest. I catch myself pausing, reaching out to experience, and in the end spending far too much time on things that keep me away from those who love me. In the end, I am a lost child, unaware of how much danger I am potentially in.
Fortunately, we have a God that reaches out. “Your Redeemer God says: ‘I left you, but only for a moment. Now, with enormous compassion, I'm bringing you back.’” (Isaiah 54.7) We are not in this alone. We do not have to walk and live solo. It may seem as if there is nobody in our lives, yet God is here. God is engaged in your life and mine. God will bring us in and take us home.
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