This verse is the last verse in the parable of the lost sheep. In this parable, Jesus is using an analogy of a shepherd, to that of God's love. Please read this with me:
"For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go and seek out the one that is lost? "
Jesus is stating here that it is not the will of our Father that any little one should perish and that His heart is to GO out and seek the ONE that is lost...
As I read these verses I was reminded of these haunting images by a professional photographer who is on our Chaoyang, China trip this week. Here is the story:
I wish I could better describe our first day, but I struggle with words because of my emotional exhaustion. Though my heart is filled with great joy and thanks for seeing the children again. I am overcome with so much sadness. In the middle of the clapping and laughing, I was led to a large nursery room that had a bed, a 7 year old boy, and a dying woman. My eyes have never seen a sight like this. I was hesitant to the enter the room so I softly said, “Ni Hao” (“Hello”). The woman replied with a weak “Ni Hao”. I approached the woman and reached out to hold her hand, she quivered in pain. Even the slightest touch was more than she could bare. After a few seconds, the woman gave her son some directions and he walked around the bed to his mother’s side, slipped his hand into a plastic bag and pulled out 4 apricots, 2 for me, 2 for Mallory. The child and his dying mother had given us all they had to give. As I have been preparing to return to Chaoyang, I knew I would be faced with challenges and images of sadness. I was prepared to see the orphaned children of Chaoyang, but I was not prepared to see a child who is in the process of becoming an orphan.
We know very little about the boy and his mother. But what do know is that she is very ill and the boy will attend the orphanage boarding school once he turns 8. With the help of our local guide, Steve, we also learned that the woman suffers of strokes and is no longer married. The only family this child has is his dying mother. I ask that you keep this woman and her son in your thoughts. My greatest fear is that we will be in Chaoyang when this boy becomes an orphan.
The team member who took these photos, Mallory Kreiger, described it in such a way that you realize that this little boy is afraid to leave his mom's side to play with the other children. Afraid that any moment he could lose his mom and possibly be absorbed into this orphanage with all the other children.
God obviously cares for this ONE and I'm so thankful that our team is in Chaoyang seeking out each ONE like Yung and letting them know Jesus, the son of God sees them and has sent them over the great waters to find them and let them know that they are not alone...that they are not lost.
What I love about this China team and all our others is that many of the team members return year after year to the same orphanages, to further build relationships with these same children, letting them know that they aren't forgotten.
So I ask you, "Is there ONE that you need to seek out? Is there ONE whose soul would perish if you did not visit him or her? Who would lose hope if it were not for you....