We walked the beach at low tide on Friday. The sun was beginning to set, and the beach was perfect; the water calm and a light breeze blowing.

We walked and we talked, at peace with all of life.

As we turned to make our way back at the end of the beach, we saw a man running. A bit farther on, a woman had stopped and was calling frantically to him. He ran up to her, put his arm around her. Her sobs carried across the sand “We need to find her, we need to call the cops. We need to do something!”

Someone was missing, and that someone was dearly loved. We were witnessing her mom and dad, desperate to find her. Suddenly the beach took on a different atmosphere. Farther up, we saw more people looking. At this point the mom was shaking with sobs. We began walking toward them, hearts sinking, wanting to offer help.

A few seconds later a cry echoed from up the beach. “We’ve found her, we have her!” A little girl was walking, surrounded by a group of people. The mom broke all records, running, running to get her girl.

We stopped and spoke to complete strangers, all of us teary, moved by the intense drama of the moment.  A lost little girl was now found. This was a happy ending. Of all the endings possible, of all the images that went through the minds of those parents, this is the one they longed for: To be reunited with their lost, little girl.

We walked back, sobered and grateful. That which was lost, was now found.

I don’t know how many of you are parents, but whether you are or aren’t, you can imagine the joy and relief of the couple on the beach. And those of us who are parents? Our fear is that our kids will be lost; lost physically, lost spiritually, lost emotionally. We long for our kids to be found; the prodigal son come home, the fatted calf killed, the feast of homecoming celebrated.

Lost – gone astray, missing the way, destroyed or ruined. The mere word brings grief.

Found – discovered, recovered, reclaimed. The grace of being found.

As we left, the sky was a glorious palette of blues, pinks, and purples. And that which was lost, was found. 

Today, may we rejoice in the found ones, and pray for the lost ones.

8 thoughts on “Lost

  1. I read this with my stomach in my throat….Oh. My. I’m so relieved that she was found. So relieved and so grateful!


    1. It was heart-stopping. So, so difficult. And then the joy…. As I said, we stood there on the beach with total strangers, hearts in our throats and tears in our eyes. Now – that does NOT happen in Massachusetts! :)


  2. Every parent’s worst nightmare. Not just a child missing but beside a body of water. I am tearfully relieved that their precious daughter was found! Just a couple of weeks ago, I reconnected with a friend from high school and found out that her little 4 1/2 year old son drowned a number of years ago at a day camp in a private Houston club – with lifeguards and/or counselors all around. None of them were trained to recognize the silent signs of drowning, although all were certified in what to do to save someone who was. As she told me, most people get their ideas of what that should look like from tv or movies where folks flail about and yell. The truth is far different and most children just slip under quietly. With devastating results. It has become her mission to save others. I hope that you won’t mind if I share the link to her website page with tips for recognizing when someone may be drowning. http://www.swimsafe4life.com/drowning-risk-prevention/


  3. How many times have we heard and sung these words: “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound…….I once was LOST but now I’m FOUND.” Thanks Marilyn


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