“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?
I met a lady a few days ago at a party, lets call her Sue. A group of us chatted and laughed, Sue joined in but was uncomfortable in some way. Her personality was gruff and hard. Sue wasn’t healthy, she was morbidly overweight, puffy, bad color. Sue didn’t really fit in, she was a brillo pad in a group of feather dusters. Sue was cranky and abrasive, yet you could sense that she was fragile in some way. I suspected a tender heart lived somewhere inside. It was clear that Sue was unhappy. When she joked , it was always at someone’s expense, mostly her own. I was making conversation with her and thought I had found some common ground when I said….” oh if you live ______, you must know _______…Sue replied ” He’s an A******! ”
We had known eachother for maybe 15 minutes when she asked me
” Where do you go to church?” I answered. Then she asked “what kind of church is that?”
I answered ” non-denominational, I really love my church.”
She said, raising her voice a bit ” Well you seem like a very intelligent woman, and maybe you and I can discuss your beliefs sometime, I’m sure we would end up agreeing to disagree”
I replied ” great food huh?”
I wanted to build more relationship with Sue before we “discussed” my beliefs versus her beliefs. I wanted to be able to communicate that I valued her as a person.
Sue is an aganostic. She is one of the lost sheep the verse is talking about, and the Lord will leave the 99 to go after her. The Lord wants to rescue her because Sue lives trying to defend herself, trying to find her way home, afraid….always searching….never really fitting in. She lives a life of trying to feel “OK” about herself, and find her reason for existing. Her abrasiveness, a defense, the way she treats her body, a reflection of how she feels about herself. Sue needs to be found….rescued. I was once in need of rescue, lost but then found by God.
Christ died for Sue, to heal her hurts, bind up her broken heart, restore her spirit. The Lord is “after” her just as the shepherd goes after his one lost sheep, so the Lord goes after Sue.