Sunday, September 01, 2002


And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrews 13:16

My return to the Taian Agricultural University drew quite the crowd. After my visit last year, news spread about the funny American clown, who happened to be a writer and poet. My first appearance at the school this year was a “lecture” for 300 students; I saw many familiar faces in the crowded room. I was greeted with warm enthusiasm as students yelled out different things they recalled from my visit last year. They still express surprise that I am a mother of three, and when I proudly tell the ages of my children (22, 19, 17) an audible “wow” definitely boosts my ego. One student said, “ Please, tell us a story of your family”

Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; He did not say anything to them without using a parable. "What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? Matthew 18:12

“Many years ago, when my children were still very, very small, we lived in a two-story house. Inside my closet, was a little door that lead into an attic room above the roof. It was the perfect size for a child’s imaginary kingdoms and castles. The children loved to creep into my closet and escape into their fantasy world. One evening while cooking dinner, I began to hear suspicious noises above me. “Bang, bang, bang!” I ran upstairs to see what was making such a racket. The closer I got the louder I could hear my children’s muffled cries and pleading shouts for help coming from the attic. Quickly I went into my closet, opened the door, and out fell all three children landing on top of each other, crying hysterically. When I asked them, “What’s the matter?” They replied sobbing, “We were locked in and thought we would be in there forever!” I stifled my laughter. “Didn’t you know that I would come looking for you? Didn’t you realize that I would miss you when dinner was ready?” They looked at each other with puzzled expressions. “We didn’t think about that. All we knew was we couldn’t turn the door handle and get out.”

The students had a good laugh. When it happened, I know my children didn’t think it was too funny. They really believed they were destined for starvation or worse in their attic prison. But I never could overlook what the Lord taught me through their hysteria. How many times have I been sure He was forgetting some important detail or need of my life, and fret and panic in my prayers?

The Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, Who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

I shared with the students that insight, and the belief I have in God, who I know hears me. I know He is watching, and I know He comes “looking” for me anytime I hide myself away. I believe it for me, I believe it for them, and I believe it for the thousands of orphan children I meet each year, when I sadly wave goodbye.

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. John 14:18