Last night, I was awoken by my youngest son at 1 am. It’s been a regular occurrence for as long as my brain has been trying to function. Ok, the memory portion of my brain always seems to be malfunctioning. I’m pretty sure he’s been on this early morning wake up routine for around three to four months. It’s left me so exhausted. I fight the urge to sleep all day long until my husband comes home. I eat dinner and have been known to immediately climb into my bed afterward…. at 6 pm!
Back to the 1 am alarm. My son comes in at 1 am. He’s crying and about to help himself to sleep in my bed. I wouldn’t normally be super opposed to this except that he’s the worst person to try and sleep with. Dear son’s future wife, I have no idea how to fix this. I’ve been known to have a sore back on the best of days, but after a couple hours of sleeping with him, I can hardly move because of how much kicking to the small of my back he’s done. Just thinking about it could make me cry! In the past few weeks, I have been very diligent to not put myself through more pain at his expense. When he comes into my room, I redirect him back to his bed.
This particular morning, he informs me that his big brother isn’t in his room. At one in the morning, where in the world could that kid be?
I went into their room, turned on the light, thinking that there must be some sort of mistake. They both sleep in such a way that I’m always surprised that they don’t fall out of their beds more often. Sure enough, he wasn’t in the bed. In fact, he wasn’t even in the room. Remembering him saying something about sleeping on my couch the night before, I went looking in my room. No dice. There aren’t that many places to choose from. Our house is under 1200 square feet, so places to curl up and sleep are actually pretty limited. It was about then that I had decided that it was worth waking up my sick husband (who was sleeping on the couch) to help me look for our lost child.
My husband’s name hardly left my lips when I noticed this ball of something on the hardwood floor next to him. It was too round to look like one of our square couch cushions or pillows. It was too dark and patternless to be part of the living room decor. Unsure of what it was (because it was dark, ie 1 am), I reached down to touch it. It was then that I felt a hard little body. I removed the blanket and found my son curled up in a ball, not sleeping.
I’d love to say that I responded beautifully Biblically as I picked him up, twirled him around, and praised God that my son was found. But once again, it was 1 am and I haven’t slept since 2005. As angry as I was, it was such a relief to lay eyes on my son. I was angry that he heard me frantically searching for him and calling his name and he made no effort to make his whereabouts known. I was relieved because my fears of him being kidnapped were unrealized. I was relieved because my fears of him walking down the street in the middle of winter wearing only underwear were unrealized. I was relieved because I wouldn’t have to consider what life would be like without him. Finding my missing son calmed my soul and allowed me to return to peaceful sleep quickly and easily.
I can’t help but think of the Parable of the Lost Coin in Luke 15. Jesus talks about a woman who has ten silver coins and she loses one. She searches the house diligently until she finds it. When she does, she calls her friends and neighbors together to celebrate this coin being found.
I know that a child and a coin aren’t at all the same thing, but they do end up with a lot of the same responses. While it’s not mentioned the woman's immediate reaction when she first lays her eyes on her lost coin, I’m willing to bet the first thing she does is sigh in relief. Maybe she does a happy dance. Maybe she throws up a “Thank you, God!” The simple fact is that she lost something important to her and when it’s found, she’s able to praise God because of it.
In my more awake (not 1 am) moment, I find myself so thankful that God helped me to find my son quickly. Had I truly not been able to find him anywhere in my house, I would have been a complete wreck! As much as I’m able to praise God in my sleepy moment and my awake moment regarding my lost son, it’s nothing compared to the joy in heaven because of the one sinner who repents. As much as that woman could call together her friends and neighbors to celebrate with her, that’s nothing compared to the joy in heaven because of the one sinner who repents!