In a big city, it’s very easy to get lost. You can get lost physically, of course. You can take the wrong bus, or the wrong train, or walk down the wrong street. But I’m talking about being lost completely. Think of it as the opposite of “Cheers,” where nobody knows your name.
In Dallas, it seemed like strange and terrible things only happened behind closed doors, or on the news. In a really big city, those strange and terrible things happen right in front of you. People live out their drug problems and their drinking problems and their relationship problems on the same bus or the same park bench.
I’ve seen people and I’ve wondered, “Will they make it through the week? Will they make it through the night?”. I find that people on lots of drugs are some of the most difficult people for me to see. They are so alone. The fake smile that the drugs put on their faces is so hollow and disconcerting. A street-kid who was about 12 years old was next to us at a bus stop huffing something. He was clearly out of his mind, laughing and stumbling, but he couldn’t stop breathing into his rag. Elisa, a missionary who works with street children here in Mexico City, has said before that huffing causes many deaths among the kids she works with. It just makes me want to cry.
In big cities, where people are almost forced to live out their problems in front of everyone, you can almost feel tangibly how alone and desperate people are. There are so many people who are utterly lost in this city. However, I think there are just as many alone and desperate people back home. I just think that people are better at hiding their problems.
Christ doesn’t promise health, wealth, or a problem-free life, but he does promise to find lost and broken people wherever they are and make them whole. We are all stupid sheep who wander off and become lost. But there is not one sheep in this world that the Shepherd can’t find.
“For thus says the Lord God; ‘Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.” – Ezekiel 34:11-12
“I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice.” – Ezekiel 34:16