I was coming around the main desk at the library one day last week and discovered a young man-child about the age of four heading out the front door, crying inconsolably. Just as he was heading out the door, he looked up at me and made eye contact. He stopped and just stood there, looking at me and crying.
"Hey, now, what's this, young mister?" I stooped down and asked him.
"I can't find my mommy," he wailed and cried even harder.
"Well, you come with me and we'll go find her," I reassured him, and held out my hand to see if he wanted to hold it. Nope. He wasn't having any of that.
I started walking down the hallway and he followed me. I kept talking to him and asking him simple questions to try and find out where he was when he last saw his mom. He cried the entire way down the hallway and up the short set of stairs leading to the Internet computers, which is where most adults end up while their children play in the children's department.
I looked around and saw two people - an old man and a young lady of a different nationality than the man-child. But I didn't want to make any assumptions so I said, "I don't see mommy here. Can you look and see if you can find her?"
The man-child glanced around, saw the same two people I did and looked at me like, you idiot, those two aren't my mother. So we turned around, walked back down the hallway and headed upstairs to the children's area with him crying and wailing the entire way.
As we started up the stairs, his momma heard him crying and met us at the top of the staircase.
"I'm right here, sweetheart!" she said. As soon as he caught sight of her, he raced up the rest of the stairs and threw himself into her arms. He hugged his momma tightly and then reared back, wound up an arm, and hauled off and hit her across the legs.
"WHERE WERE YOU??" he cried, flailing at her and crying even harder. She talked to him softly, hugging him as best she could while he spent himself out. She mouthed her gratitude to me and I left them to their reconciliation.
The entire drive home I thought about this incident. And I thought this is the way we treat God when we wander away from Him. We look for Him in all the wrong places and flail about, frustrated and angry and scared. When we finally do find Him, we discover it wasn't Him that moved but us. And then we get mad at Him for it. Oh, how wrong we are. He's been right there, waiting for us to come back to Him.
Thank you, man-child, for opening my eyes.