Do you remember playing hide and seek as a child? In my neighborhood it was the “game of choice”. Were you good at the game? Hide and seek pros usually hid in the sneakiest places and whoever as “it” had a tough time finding them. In fact, if you were really good at hide and seek you may not get found at all.
After a while, that sometimes got a little old and you felt terrible.
This was especially frustrating when the game was over and everyone else went home for dinner, and there you were waiting to be found.
I remember that game vividly. It was one of my very favorites as a child. I was a small kid and usually was one of the last ones to be found because I could squeeze into the smallest, most out of the way places. But then I heard of another game that I wished our neighborhood gang would have played when I was young. It was called “sardines”. One person hides and then everyone else looks for that person and everyone keeps looking until finally one person is left trying to find where everyone else is hiding. (They are all packed in with the person they were looking for) Sardines isn’t over until everyone is all together. That way, one person out hiding somewhere won’t be forgotten.
In the scriptures, Jesus says that he doesn’t want us to feel lost and forgotten. He tells the story of the one hundred sheep, and one gets lost. The shepherd, Jesus says, will leave the ninety-nine just to find that one. When the sheep is found, the shepherd feels more joy than ever before. The shepherd is happier about finding the one lost sheep than he was about the ninety-nine who weren’t lost.
We all have times when we feel sad or disappointed or angry. We sometimes feel that God is far away from us. We may even feel like we have been forgotten. Jesus wants us to know that He loves us so much that He won’t be happy until we are close to Him again. We may know some people who feel like nobody cares about them. Maybe it is up to us to go and find those people and share God’s love for them. Maybe it’s something we have to keep working at....just like the game of sardines...until everyone knows about God’s great love.
God’s Peace in your Lenten Journey!