Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Lost Again

My favorite-movie-of-all-time is Lost in America. Albert Brooks' cracks me up as he whines, "I can't believe it, I've lost a whole woman. How can that be?" After a fight, his wife has hitched a ride with a redneck stranger to get away from the Hoover Dam and him. ARRGHH!!!! come his non-verbal groans of exasperation and helplessness. What to do now?!??! I know the feeling.

I could, but won't, make a recurrent series of Lost and Found Reid stories, for it happens woefully often. It is not something I'm proud of but, it is emotionally trying enough that retelling seems to be a coping mechanism. Will you oblige me?

Every time it happens, that Albert Brooks line runs through my mind. "I've lost a whole child!" It helps to have someone with me, someone who knows Reid, someone who knows I'm actually ultra-responsible. Just like the sister in Ian's Walk by Laurie Lears, Allie knows how he thinks. She accurately claims to have a sixth sense about where he will be.

I generally don't involve security right away because 9 times out of 10, we're the ones who find him anyway. He returns to where we last saw him like a little doggie wagging his tail behind. Pulling the alarm, seems to attract negative attention and be unnecessary. Strangers, no matter how well intentioned, have actually confused him in the past and set him off his logical course.

However, this time I was alone after the successful Kingsmen gig at the rambling 250,000 square foot Town and Country Hotel and Convention Center facility. Jim had left, the audience had cleared, we were putting amps away. Reid was within eye shot browsing sodas at the lunch buffet...and in the blink of an eye...argghh!...a whole child...@#$%^&!...lost.

This place is a huge maze of ranch-style bungalow cottages, two high-rise towers, courtyards, multiple pools, and at least 964 televisions. After Albert Brooks flashed through my mind, I had a vision of checking all 964 rooms with a pass key in a massive shell game to discover behind which door Reid would be happily watching PBSKids.

The usual protocol is this:

1. Pray
2. Fan out
3. Stay in the spot last seen
4. Wait
5. Enlist help (after a reasonable amount of time--15 minutes?)

In this case, I prayed the standard, "Lord, you know exactly where he is. Lead me to him I pray. And keep him safe from harm in the meantime." Called Jim to do the same. Then jumped ahead to #5 on the list. I didn't want to mess around since we were due in 30 minutes at a drama rehearsal that was 30 minutes away.

Power walking through this idyllic complex without passing go, I grabbed the first uniformed concierge I saw at Registration."I have a lost child, will you call security?" please.

No frantic first timer here, I knew the line of questioning better than she did.

"Yes, right away," as she dialed. I interjected the next piece of information, "He's 15, has autism, and is wearing a bright turquoise sh....

"Wait," something clicks in her mind, "I think I just saw him."

Praise God. Smooth way to answer prayer! Look how You led me right to this particular woman. Who needs security? You are good!

"Just a minute," as she hung up the phone. "I thought that was weird," she was thinking outloud. "He was just on those computers and...let me go check. I wondered why the door was open...."

Sure enough, after tracking her through a couple of keypadlocked doors, we spied him. Shoulders drop...exhale...found.

That had to be the fastest, timeliest, serendipity-est round of lost and found yet! Off we went to the parking structure...arm in arm, Cotillion style...only 5 minutes late for drama. In my mom's famous line to endorse the power of prayer, "You don't think that just happened, do you?"

Everytime, I am reminded of God's control over the details in our lives. He must certainly have extra guardian angels assigned to Reid. And His grace exceeds Reid's curiosity.

Do you have a favorite version of Amazing Grace? Like Albert Brooks and Easy Rider, "I've based my whole life on that song."

If I had a mind to brag a little, I could probably do it without looking ridiculous, and I'd still be speaking plain truth all the way. But I'll spare you.

Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn't get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan's angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty!

At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me, My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness.

Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become. 2 Corinthians 12:6-8 The Message

1 comment:

  1. "And His grace exceeds Reid's curiosity."

    And Rhema's.

    Thank God. And so far He's given grace to me and kept me from the heart attack every time she wanders off.

    Glad you found Reid so fast!