Loss and found
I have just returned a few minutes ago from the Domain in Sydney. A great night of singing Christmas carols with tens of thousands of Sydneysiders from every continent of earth. Only I didn't stay to the end. I had to look around for something I lost. Actually it was stolen. My camera bag was taken from right next to me while I was handing out tracts in front of the Department of Lands Building as thousands passed by me on their way to the Domain.
I spoke with Darren and Belinda, with Siobhan and Daniel and all their friends and family, with young Matthews, and a few others. A Muslim man wanted to discuss the flyer and the resurrection of Jesus. Another Christian said, "Good on you, mate!" It was a good hour and a half. I had already handed out 1400 flyers.
Then two young Jewish teens came by. Jasmine and her cousin Carmen spoke with me for a moment. I told them to read our website. They live in Randwick and attend high school. Just then I turned back to my bag, and IT WAS GONE!
Less than two metres away from my feet, next to my bag of tracts, which remained, my camera bag was gone. I looked around quickly and saw a couple young boys running, but they had no bag. Still I gave chase. But they had nothing. I found a policeman and quickly told my story. He said "I've seen nothing."
Two ladies, one named Bernadette offered to help. But there was nothing to do. I found another policeman who was helpful. She told me to go to Lost and Found which I did in a moment. They took my details. So did Lost and Found. But there's little hope of someone from the cleaner crew or some other noble person like Bernadette finding the bag and turning it in to the police.
I'm at a loss. I'm out thousands of dollars of camera equipment. I'm sad. And it's not the first time I've had a camera bag pinched, but it feels so wrong. I feel so stupid, and it was 'just there' and then it wasn't. Loss.
My loss however pales compared to that of Jeff and Janet whose 21 year old son was found dead last week in Pennsylvania. They had a $100,000 reward out for any information about him, but that was too little too late. He was taken from a bad area of town and was never seen again. The Bernstein loss must be immeasurable. As is the loss of 22-year-old Daniel to Phil and Sue up in Michigan. I only met the son briefly in October and he was a treasure to everyone he met. But he too was found dead and his parents' grief was extreme. Phil is a pastor and spoke on Moving Forward a couple weeks ago, and about 6 weeks after his loss here: Moving Forward
My loss of a camera and some lenses and the bother is not even worthy to be discussed much less compared to the loss of baby #5 of Ben and Joelle in Sydney. Ben described it after the baby's birth and passing on Facebook: "After a non-eventful labour where everyone was in perfect health with perfect vitals we decided to transfer to hospital as Joelle was not progressing. Our baby showed no signs of distress and we decided to leave while baby and Mum were still healthy before any signs of deterioration showed. Unfortunately on arrival a heart beat could not be found. It was revealed in surgery that Joelle had suffered the beginnings of a catastrophic uterine rupture which is around 1 in 100 chance of happening with multiple c-sections. It could not have been predicted and there were no signs in the car that it had happened. Joelle was in perfect health though tired. It had only just happened and baby was fine when we left. If it had been longer Joelle would have bled out and lost her uterus or even worse, died. The timing was both incredibly unlucky and lucky. Please pray for us and show compassion in our loss. We are both devastated."
Another pastor in Queensland here tweeted about Tosh & Vicky Sturgess who lost their 3-hour old child. Loss multiplied.
I read a website about 'getting help' in times of trauma and loss. It might help you help others today. Emotional trauma
I suppose I'm writing to show myself the perspective of losses and how mine pales. And I'm remembering this photo which I shot on the M4 freeway in Sydney's west. One man's photo is another man's disaster. We just don't 'get it' when we are not the person suffering the loss of a thing or the loss of a son or the loss of a coin.
If you can, pray today for a bit more peace for the parents of the lost children. Pray for me for the recovery of the lost camera/ bag. Pray for the person who stole it from me for his heart to be caught out and shame to be real.
May you know the joy of finding lost things. And if you don't know Messiah, the One who died for our sins and rose from the dead, and the One about whom all these Christmas carols are sung... if you don't know Messiah Yeshua, then the Bible calls you 'lost' and you need to be found.
That may be a bit harsh, but reality bites. And being found is something you can do. It's about putting your faith in Him, and not in you. Faith in Him and not in humanity. Faith in the Savior who died for all your sins. May my loss today help you to be found.