Having five children has resulted in an accumulation of items of interest to little people, which Marilyn has insisted that we keep for the grandchildren. Consequently, we have a stash of toys and books, most of which are stored in boxes in the attic. As Michael (no.2 son) visits regularly with his two boys (aged five and one) a few boxes now stay out of the attic permanently, including the Lego Duplo. But something has been missing from the Duplo for quite a while: the people and the animals.
We have long suspected that the Duplo people and creatures were somewhere in the attic, which is how I came to spend most of yesterday afternoon going up and down, searching both the attic and the rest of our home. I knew the Duplo people and creatures were in a smallish yellow box, but I couldn’t find the box anywhere. After a while I came to the conclusion that the yellow box could only be in the attic. Not wishing to admit defeat I got the ladder out one more time and headed back through the hatch into the attic world of dust and dead insects (evidence of the annual battle against the cluster flies).
There were a couple of boxes I hadn’t looked in. One was well wrapped in black rubbish sacks. The first time I inspected this particular box I thought that it contained soft toys. On my final visit to the attic I ripped off the rubbish sacks and finally located the yellow box of Duplo figures! So the next time the children visit we will have Duplo people and animals for them to play with as well as the Duplo. Will they notice? Will they care? I’m not sure, but one thing I am sure about is that if I had not located the Duplo figures I would not have slept well last night!
My relentless search for a box of Duplo figures reminded me of a parable Jesus told about a lost sheep. It is good to be reminded that God considers each one of us so precious that He never gives up on us, regardless of how many times we give up on Him. He never stops searching for our hearts to be where He always wanted them to be. I have a few bruises and cuts from my searching around in the attic. Jesus carries the scars from a scourging, the crown of thorns, the nails, and the sword that pierced His side. All because of a love that can never be defined in human words. A love that means He never stops searching for the lost.
So Jesus told them this story: “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbours, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away! (Luke 15:3-7 NLT)