I cannot imagine the anguish a parent must experience at the abduction of their child.

Though cautious of the possible pain, I would ask you to imagine the horror of having your own child kidnapped at birth.

Oh, that sinking in your bowels as the stench of panic trespasses through the hospital halls. The invading heat against your face at the betrayal of all eye contact. The deafening beat of your heart as you silently scream to hear what no one can bring themselves to whisper…“She’s… gone.”

With reckless abandon you would give all that you have and all that you are, in life or death, to pursue your lost one. Weeks, months, years – it wouldn’t matter. Any door, any shadow, every rumor; beat down, pushed back, unearthed to see her rescued… to see her home.

Now, imagine that long awaited phone call. Nearly fourteen years of dreaming and aching for this moment. You push through the pounding in your ears to hear them say it again… “We’ve found her!” You race across town toward a scribbled address elated and angry at the insanity of five thousand thirty two days of endless dusk giving way to a dawn lurking just around the corner.

Oh, the ecstasy of joy that floods your soul as you fight your way through the cameras and uniforms, nearly oblivious to the couple stooped in the back seat beneath the police lights, to sprint down that dark hallway, in hope – surreal hope – for that embrace never known and yet always missed. What joy! What irresistible joy! … for you.
But, what about for her?

Though you know the truth – that today is the day of her recue. For her it is the day of her kidnapping. Sure there is a strange familiarity as she listens to your voice tell stories of great longing and unceasing love, but this life, now so wrong, is the only life she has ever known.

It too must sound strange when a Christian tells a friend that they need to be saved – rescued. “Humble yourself.” “Surrender.” “Die to the only life you’ve ever known to live a new life with God.” But, if that friend could sit down and look through the family photos, she might catch a glimpse from God’s perspective. She might see him as Heavenly Father, who has given all that he has and all that he is to see us be rescued – to see us come home.

In the beginning, Our Heavenly Father created humanity to share in the joy of relational fellowship with him. Our first ancestors chose to do life on their own, thus sentencing each of us to the hereditary spiritual disease of sin – separation from our Father. In essence, at birth each of us are kidnapped by sin and raised as if we belonged to it. We do not! Since that first rebellion, through the overarching metanarrative of history and in the intimate grind of life, God has pursued us and, in Christ, has given all that we might be rescued.

If you struggle today in the bondage of a life apart from God – regardless of your perceived success or failure in that bondage, I pray that you might muster the courage to listen for that strange yet familiar voice of your Heavenly Father, and dare to let him bring you home.

If you rest today in fellowship with God, I pray that you might exercise a fresh and gentle kindness when helping that lost one embrace a reality they have never known… and yet… always missed.