Friday, November 19, 2010

A Lost Sheep

Note: This post is based on a true story, however, since I didn't obtain permission from those I wrote about, I changed their names. I do not believe this takes away from the events which occurred. Scripture declares that, "The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. (NLTB) Drugs have been used as a tool to rob, kill and destroy families. I pray that the gift of life through Jesus Christ provide healing, deliverance and salvation to those who've been wounded by drug addiction.

The Shepherd goes after the lost sheep, image courtesy of freegroups.net
If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away!” (Matthew 18:11-13, New Living Translation Bible)

He sat there contemplating what to do with this news about his son. The news came as no surprise, still, it wasn’t the kind of news he wanted to hear. A childhood friend, who knew his son, thought he should know where and how he was living. The message kept repeating in his mind.

I thought you should know where your son is. He’s pretty bad off.

Those words summed it up all right. The father wrote down the address and sat there staring at the notepad. The words echoed in his mind again and again.

He’s pretty bad off.

Closing his eyes, he began to pray silently.

Father in heaven…Help me find my son. Let Your Spirit go before me and speak to his heart. Remind him of how he is loved and valued by You, his mother and me. I don’t know what to say, but I trust You to speak for me. You have a purpose for Him Lord. Pull him out of this gutter and show him true life. I ask this in the name of Your Son, Jesus. Amen.

He stood up, walked to the closet and grabbed a jacket. His wife met him as he walked from the bedroom.

Who was that on the phone?

One of Ron’s school friends said he saw him tonight. I’m going to find him and talk.

I should go with you.” Her voice revealed the concern of a mother and wife.

He leaned in and kissed her. He would always do this when she needed assurance that everything would be alright; even when he didn’t know the outcome.

No, you stay here in case someone calls.

She looked into his eyes, searching for a clue. His smile always told her what she needed to hear.

Everything will be alright.

He kissed her a second time and said,

I’ll be back soon.

Then he disappeared out the door. She listened and heard the car engine starting and the gears of the chain lifting the garage door. She could hear his car drive off in the distant as the garage door began to shut.

Pulling into the parking lot, he quickly realized this was a place where one could indeed become lost. Trash littered the parking lot. There was an emptiness about this place; the word discarded came to mind. The lawn was just small patches of grass amid broken bottles, crushed cans and miscellaneous refuse. He reached into his pocket and opened the paper with the address and building number. He scanned the row of buildings, searching for some designation among the segmented units of horizontally connected homes. He could hear voices of children, the sound of music blaring, and a couple arguing loudly.

All these buildings look alike! He decided to ask someone for help. Walking up to a door, he began knocking.

Who is it?” The voice answered as the door opened.

He looked at a young girl holding a baby.

Hello? I’m looking for Ron. Do you know his apartment number?

She turned her back to him and shouted a name.

Billy.

Billy!

What!

You know somebody name Ron?

Who wants to know?

I don’t know, come here and see.

Finally, a young man approached the door.

You the one looking for Ron?

Yes, I’m his father and I need to speak with him.

For some reason, hearing the word, father seemed to make an impression on this young man; his demeanor turned respectful. He stepped out the door and said,

I can show you where he usually hangs out.

He silently followed this young man until they arrived at another building where the young man pounded his fist against the door.

A shirtless young man opened the door.

What’s up Billy?

Hey man, is Ron in there? This is his father.

Yeah, he’s here.” The door opened, inviting the father to come in.

Turning to Billy, he smiled and said, “Thanks.

As he entered the apartment, he quickly detected the smoke-filled fumes of marijuana. There were people sitting on the floor smoking; the room contained no furniture except for a small lamp that offered very little light. He followed the young man through the hallway, passing more dimly lit rooms. He could hear voices but was unable to understand any words spoken. As he entered the room at the end of the hall, he could see the faces of young men and women. They were just kids, sitting on the floor getting high. He noticed one of them holding a crack pipe and wondered,

What if the police raid this place? How do I explain being here?

As he looked around for his son, the young man walked up to a body, lying crumpled on the floor. Kneeling down, he spoke to the face supported by folded arms. As the face lifted up, the father could see his son. He waited silently while his son stood and walked toward him.

Hey Daddy, what are you doing here?” His voice asked the question but his eyes refused to look up at his father.

I came here for you son. I want to talk.” He looked at his son. Although he was now a young man, he could still see the face of that child who smiled with innocence. He didn’t come to berate him. Ron was lost and confused. It didn’t matter how or why; he needed help, even if he was too afraid to ask. He didn’t wait for Ron to reply.

I don’t care why you’re here son, but it doesn’t matter. You weren’t raised to live like this. Your mother and I love you and we want you to come home and let us help you work things out. I know what it’s like to live for a drug and in the end, all you get is consumed; there’s no payoff.

He embraced his son and whispered again.

I love you Ron.

I love you too Daddy.

As he held Ron, he began to pray. There was no resistance from Ron to escape his loving embrace.

Sovereign LORD,

No life is worthless to You. You see our coming and going. You love us with an uncompromising love. A love that required the sacrificial death of Your only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. When we lose our way, You search for us, so that none of us remain lost. You call out our name, with the voice of a Loving Father. Your Word declares, "All whom My Father gives (entrusts) to Me will come to Me; and the one who comes to Me I will most certainly not cast out [I will never, no never, reject one of them who comes to Me]." You do this because You love us as it is written, "because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son." Thank You Lord for retrieving that one lost sheep. You are The Sovereign LORD, our Almighty God. Amen.


22 comments:

Sharon Kirby said...

Wow, such a powerful story! It reminded me of the parable of the prodigal son. I always liked that parable - but now it has new meaning for me because I lived some prodigal years in my 40's. I will always be amazed at how God NEVER let go of me - He was the Father that looked for me - and SAW me while I was "still a long way off."

He is the champion of the Lost Sheep - the One who never stops searching...

Is this a true story, MTJ?

Thanks for sharing this. Your writing, as always, is powerful.

GOD BLESS!

(I read in a comment that you left on Wanda's blog that you're writing a book - is that right? It should be - you're very, very good - and I can tell that God speaks to you in a profound way. Best of luck.)

MTJ said...

Hi Sharon,

Yes and yes to both questions. This is based on a true story, but since I didn't get permission, I didn't use the real name of the son (Ron), his father or the other characters.

I've started working on a first draft, but since this is different from anything I've blogged, I don't have a timeline. I'm hoping that I can have something to submit by Thanksgiving of 2011.

Please remember me in your prayers my sister.

B. Niles said...

Hi MTJ,
Great story of a father's unconditional love and of God's as well. Thank God for the example of his incredible love, grace and mercy. Love never fails.

Looking forward to your book. Just be prayerful and faithful and the Lord will guide you.

Beverly

Crystal Mary said...

I think this hits home on a lot of relationships today. Satan has done a good job of destroying lives and trying to ruin families.
Godly parents who plant the seed of faith will hopefully reap a blessing in the appointed time.
Love never fails. A beautiful annalogy of this. Hugs CML

Nicole said...

What a wonderful and powerful story of both a parents love and our Father's love for we are all His children. He does come searching for us when we are lost we just have to let Him wrap His arms around us and let Him help us along our way.

You know there is an old quote from a movie that goes, "Mother is the name for God on the lips & hearts of little children"

It still applies in so many ways parents no matter what the age. Our parents are what save us a lot of the times. Once we grow older we realize what we have done and then we, hopefully, come to realize who our real Father is.

I love the my brother, very powerful.

You know I am always thinking and praying for you my brother. I can't wait to read your book once you are all done. I know it will be great! God has given you such an amazing gift!

Ruth said...

Hi MTJ, thank you for this most touching story.

sarah said...

this is powerfully written..thanks for it MTJ....reminds me of how far dwon He went to pull me out. He never gave up on me...and never gives up on any of us. ☺

Virginia said...

What a wonderful and powerful story.
Thank you for sharing.
Much Blessings,
Virginia

Joan said...

MTJ - very powerful and moving story, and yes, like the parable of the prodigal son. Like Sharon, I had my own prodigal years, but I'm so thankful the Heavenly Father welcomed me back with loving arms.

Blessings to you and your family and I wish you a joyful Thanksgiving.

Mari said...

Wonderful story and very true. In today's world many kids are becoming addicted to drugs and thanks to God he does not leave any of his sheeps to wonder away for long.

Like Crystal Mary said God bless the Godly parents who plant the seed of faith and that will reap a blessing.

Praise to the Lord Almighty who will always be there for us.

Have a wonderful Sunday.

Charlotte said...

You are a very good writer. I can't add anything to what others have commented here. I share their sentiments.
Blessings to you as you write your book.
Charlotte

Janis@Open My Ears Lord said...

Oh, wow! I was right there with the father. I felt everything, every fear, every concern, every worry that his son might not return with him. What a moving story! You are a gifted writer and I pray that the Lord will use this gift He has given you to write the book for His honor and glory.

And to know that the Father's love is the same for us. He went into hell to rescue us from the darkness that held us captive.

Praise the Father! And thank you for this post.

May you have a blessed Thanksgiving,

Janis

Ginger~~Enchanting Cottage said...

This story has been the case for so many parents. It brings tears t omy eyes.
Blessings,
Ginger

Donnie said...

That was such a powerful post and all too common in our society today. Every body needs our prayers. Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

dunlizzie said...

MTJ - I am ever pondering your posts. The truth of God's character expressed through these difficult stories is powerful and encouraging. They linger and remind me of other stories and situations in my life where I have seen Him do the same, which builds faith as it confirms. Thank you for your vulnerability and willingness to use the gift of writing that God gave you. God bless :)

Renee said...

What a wonderful story...brought tears to my eyes. We nearly lost a son to drugs many years ago...our prayers were answered and he is clean and sober and doing okay! God wants all his children to be part of his kingdom. God bless and Happy Thanksgiving!

Ian Curtis said...

Hello, MTJ. Just wanted to write and bid you and yours a very happy thanksgiving. I like the "lost sheep" angle; it is one we all can easily associate with.
Thank you for sharing your ministry and your life with us. It is appreciated! Your brother in Christ, Ian.

Judy said...

Hi MTJ,

Wonderful story! So happy that God never leaves us nor forsakes us. He's always watching over us, never releasing His hand from us.

I wish you and your family and Happy Thanksgiving!

Blessings,
Judy

Lloyd said...

MTJ - I want to personally thank you for this message that I can relate to in so many ways. Thank you for being such a devoted and faithful servant of our Lord and Savior. May our Lord continue to work through you and your blog ministry. Have a blessed Thanksgiving Day. Lloyd

Peggy (mazmagi) said...

Many BLESSINGS MTJ...

Powerful message and prayer! A combination of parables but such beautiful LOVE of a Father, much like that of our Heavenly Father!

So beautiful these words!...
"NO LIFE IS WORTHLESS TO YOU"...
He really does love each one, every one with all of our many imperfections, HE draws out that love from us and calls us to be that LOVE to one another... His Perfect Love!!!

I'm so much like that lost sheep (but not like the one in your story). So if I appreciate and am so grateful for God's unfailing open arms of LOVE, how much more one when they are found in their worse state but received with such love!

Remarkably written! Maybe you need to add at the beginning that this is a true story but the character's names have been changed. (some of us don't take time to read the comments...though I've learned on your blog, it's part of the growing and always each one adds much... though I still try to write my thoughts before I read to not taint or change my own first impression).

Thanking God for the blessings you are and your gift to write. May the dream planted in you come to bear fruit and become a reality along your journey! Guard your thoughts and your heart and keep on praying and sharing your prayers!!!

God be with you, peace, love and joy...
Peggy

Karen said...

This is powerful. Thank you.

Karen said...

This was all so very good, but this is the line that brought me to tears...

"Although he was now a young man, he could still see the face of that child who smiled with innocence."...I have seen that face before...

This story has blessed me more than you know...