My brother Tim had an inoperable brain tumor that caused him to have grand-mal seizures. During his seizures, he would stop whatever he was doing and freeze in place. When the seizure was over, it would take him several moments to get reoriented. He would look around to figure out where he was and what he had been doing. It was important for him to see familiar things or people.
Tim normally got along fairly well because he was always surrounded by people he knew. One time, however, things were different.
Tim and his family had come to California for a visit. We had just driven to my brother’s apartment for the first time. Tim was a few feet behind the rest of us walking through the yard up to the front door when he had a seizure and simply stopped. The rest of us were inside for a minute or so before we realized he was missing.
We ran outside and found Tim sitting on a curb with tears in his eyes and a look of absolute fear on his face. He’d come out of the seizure to find himself lost in a completely unfamiliar environment. Not only did he not know where he was, he wasn’t sure who he was. All he knew was that he was lost, and it terrified him.
My heart broke when I saw his eyes. I have no idea how it feels to be so lost and alone, but that day I looked into the eyes of someone who does.
Of course, Tim was not really lost; he just believed he was. He was right outside the front door of an apartment full of people who loved him and wanted the best for him. Just a few feet away was safety, comfort, and acceptance, the answers to his fear and longing.
You and I live among many who are in a spiritual sense just like my brother Tim. They don’t realize that the answer to their spiritual fear and longing is so near.
You and I have been invited to help them learn that they are never alone, that they can find the safety, comfort, and acceptance they crave in Jesus Christ. Jesus said in Luke 19:10, “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” That’s the work we’ve all been given as we follow Jesus, and what a joy it is to see the lost suddenly realize they have been found.
Rick Shallenberger, 2011