Frantic, fleeting moments in the old department store,
for each passing second a hundred possibilities; few of them good.
Disembodied voices broadcast fear across the floors:
“Have you seen this child? Wearing a blue coat with a hood.”
Elevators, escalators, all head down and out the door,
into the town where strangers stand in shadows at high noon.
Reduced to the clothes on his back, his height and hair colour,
adrift in the wilderness of the city, someone’s beloved son.
Imagine the moment they see him, as if he’s been born all over again,
counting his fingers and toes, hugging him tight,
shouting aloud to the heavens above:
here is the one who was lost; now rejoice. He’s alright.
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A Family Like Mine: Biblical Stories of Love, Loss, and Longing, by Rosalind C Hughes, is available from Upper Room Books.https://bookstore.upperroom.org/Products/1921/a-family-like-mine.aspx