Being lost can mean three things in the southern part of the United States. “One is unable to determine where one is, in relation to where she or he needs to be.” “Something that has been misplaced or stolen.” And the last definition, found in religious circles is, “to be apart from God”, or better stated, “to be without God’s grace or favor.”
While the first two describe states of being, the latter is used to describe a human condition. This description of human condition will be discussed here. In this case, the word “lost”, is thrown around to denote “otherness”, and satisfies the eagerness to place people into categories. It is false, a trick, and without truth.
Without the term “lost”, religion does not know who they should “find”. There is no short list of who to convert, or for whom to reach. If people do not know who is lost, there is little sense of purpose in replicating their beliefs. Without knowing who to search for, the search is meaningless.
The term is used with good intentions. Jesus of Nazareth spoke of those that were lost and were then found (by God). There is talk of sheep, nations, and prodigal sons, who were all lost in some ways, it is possible to use the term with an innocence. It is, however, also used to dismiss new thoughts, creativity, and action not condoned by particular traditions.
When we label a person, we do it as a result of our judgement. Jesus had some things to say about that as well. Take that up with Jesus if you like. If we are to see the world with the eyes of the Creator, we will not see either the lost or the found. We will see eternal possibility. In everyone.
And what of this eternal possibility? Should we see it only in others? If you know me, you know my answer is “no.”
You are eternal possibility. Infinite grace. A beautiful soul in a body belonging only to this world. Your dreams are important. All of the joys and sorrows you experience are manifestations of both you and the divine together. You hold the key to unlock the mysteries of God and the alleviation of human sufferings in this lifetime.
This is said to remind you of what great possility you possess. As a way to encourage you, yes, but also as a way to increase your ability to see such things in those you meet. So often, the grace we afford ourselves determines the grace we are able to afford others. Those with love are able to give love mor easily.
Am I suggesting there there is no “lost” or no “found” in this life? With regard to the Creator, yes… yes I am. The instant we see, meet, or think about one we are tempted to ddetermine is lost, they have been found. By us, and therefore, by God. Greet your meetings or thoughts of others with a well wish or love, and they can be nothing, but found. If you are determined to label a fellow soul, do it with grace and humility.
This life is not long. We are not burdened with responsibility for finding lost souls. Ours is to enjoy whatever corner we occupy and share that joy with others is some way. People only want more. Whether it is money, peace, purpose, happiness, or things, our days are filled with finding more. This is what keeps our species alive.
Want a little more for others also. Begin without labels. Start by thinking and speaking well of others. See the good, share encouragement, and know there is enough for everyone to have more. This is the way of peace. This is the process of creation.
And… Happy Sunday.