A couple of days ago Caedmon did something that he's never done before. He and I were getting ready to go somewhere and, as I was walking into my bedroom to turn off the light, he opened the front door. (That's not unusual, though it is off limits.) I just said, "Caedmon, close the door and wait for Mommy," and proceeded to walk in my room to turn off the light. When I came out (literally 2 seconds later) the door was closed and Caedmon was not standing by it.
At this point I didn't know if Caedmon had run back to his room or if he had gone outside. Once or twice he may have gone outside, but he's never wandered far and always gets a good scolding when I get him back inside. Well, this time he had wandered far. When I opened the door he was not there. We live on the first floor of an apartment complex with lots of windy pathways, fountains, and hiding places. My heart immediately went into panic mode as I took off in a dead sprint around our fountain area all the while yelling his name. He was not there. I ran back inside thinking maybe he had gone back to his room. He was no where in the house. I am about to run to the phone to call Andy and I hear a giggling 2 year old running up to my front door. This entire episode maybe lasted 2 minutes, but adrenaline was pumping through my blood for a good 2 hours afterwards.
Clearly the incident hit on one of my deepest fears because that night I had a nightmare that I had lost Caedmon. I was searching all over for him with the same feeling of panic, only in my dream I never found him. At one point in my dream I just fell to the ground and began sobbing...heaving, really. Absolute terror. Weeping uncontrollably and there was nothing anyone could do to comfort me. That is how I woke up. I woke up because I was crying so hard.
My first thought was, "It was just a dream. It was just a dream." But the second thought that popped in my head was, I believe, from the Lord. He seemed to be saying to me, "That is how I feel about my lost sheep." I began thinking about the parable of the lost sheep in Luke 15. The shepherd abandoned every other responsibility to go after this lost sheep. Nothing else mattered. It could all wait. Only one thing was important.
I wonder what it would take for us to feel the same urgency that Christ feels when it comes to bringing home the lost sheep in this world.