Last Friday was a living nightmare for me. My wife and kids have been in Georgia this past week with family while I have been working and staying at the house. One of my responsibilities while I've been home has been to take care of some of our animals including the cat, fish and the hamster. On Thursday night I went upstairs to check on Cupcake, the hamster, gave her some treats, let her run around in her little hamster ball, and then I put her up for the night.
Friday afternoon I went upstairs, looked at the hamster cage, and horror swept over me. I had left one of the hamster cage doors open....Yikes! Sure enough, little Cupcake was off on an adventure somewhere in our home. Panic struck as I envisioned sharing with my 9 year old daughter (who absolutely loves her little hamster) that Daddy lost Cupcake. To add insult to injury, the next day was my daughter's birthday and I had sent her a package with a 'dancing hamster' birthday card. How awful! She gets the birthday card celebrating her little furry friend only to then get a call from her Dad, on her birthday, informing her that he has lost her pet.
So the search began. With flashlight in hand, I covered every square inch of our house on the ultimate game of hide-and-go seek. Let's be honest, the hamster has the advantage here. There are millions of obscure places this little furry friend can hide and simply go to sleep and not make a peep. All of my hours of searching on Friday were fruitless. I was devastated. I even had our animal-rescuer friend come over and look as well....nothing. Saturday morning rolls around and I start to feel hopeless. Right about then my wife calls and tells me not to give up and keep looking. Her words gave me some fresh inspiration.
So I go ... toy by toy ...stuffed animal by stuffed animal ... all the way through my daughter's close. Nothing. I finally work my way to Joshua's closet, piece by piece, all the way to the very back. I look down and see a glimmer of hope. On the floor was a small pile of shredded paper and a neat little pile of food. I could sense that I was on the trail now. Right next to this little make-shift hamster outpost was a really huge canvas container packed full of stuffed animals. So I began taking each animal out one by one, and finally, at the very bottom of the stack was a furry little animal that was scurrying around....CUPCAKE! I have never been so happy to see a rodent in my entire life. I could have kissed this little thing.
This little episode in my life made me think about Jesus' mission that He declares in Luke 19:10. He looks at the crowds, right after Zacheus the tax-collecter becomes a follower, and declares, 'for the Son of Man came to seek and save that which was lost.' As His people, we are to have the same mission and heart for the lost. I obsessed and made it a top priority to seek and save this little hamster. How much more are we to obsess and make it a top priority to seek out the salvation of our lost friends, family and neighbors. How much more should we be praying for them, asking God to save them, inviting them to church, and looking for ways to love them and point them towards their heavenly Father.
God, may you bring someone closer towards home through us today!