A gap between the driver’s seat and middle console in my car is my personal lost and rarely found. It’s also an inaccessible lost and found. Somehow items can be lost in that space, and I can find the items because I see them, but they can never find their way into my hands again.
How do the car keys drop into just the right spot that my hands and fingers cannot reach? Not only do the keys fall into the crack, they settle into a place that up to that point have never occupied. It’s like the first time someone ascended the peak of Mt. Everest or set foot on the moon. My lost and found is former uncharted territory that now has a resident.
And, it isn’t just keys that find their way into those unreachable cracks. Letters, coins, hair ties and pens make their way into the car abyss. Recently, I found an 8 x 11-inch folder with my husband’s records from a recent medical procedure. Come on. A folder we couldn’t find or reach for weeks.
Whenever the reach attempt begins, there’s such hope. There’s the ‘I’ll just gently push my hand down there’ hope of grabbing the lost item. That quickly becomes ‘why aren’t my fingers a bit longer’ under-the-breath muttering which then moves into ‘how in the world has something made its way into an impossible to reach place’ screaming.
Sometimes cursing comes into play. At other times, loud sighs, grumbles and grunts.
I open and slam car doors and move the seat back. Well, now, it’s the pushing the button for the slow-motion automated version and not the lift the lever and throw your back into it shove (which is much more gratifying).
There’s aggressive digging. There’s grabbing of anything that can move the item because yes, sometimes, you can see it. I’ve grabbed clothes hangers, umbrellas and even pencils to move the items around. These cracks become caverns.
When success presents, there are shouts of hallelujah or ‘finally.’ When additional effort is required, sometimes I just walk away.
Except, I need my keys. Or the garage door opener. Or, yeah, the hair tie. Ponytails in Texas are important.
Those aren’t the only cracks that aggravate me. I have an entire slew of cracks that get on my nerves. The cracking my knees make when I stand up now after playing with my 9-year-old twins on the floor. The cracks across my face that are commonly known as wrinkles.
Then, there are the cracked pieces of furniture in my house. The coffee table which has a missing piece along the bottom that just cannot be glued or nailed back into place. The dining room chair that cracked and is in a few pieces on the floor.
The cracked tile in the bathroom shower that seems to crumble a bit more each day. We’ve tried to caulk it and it looks nothing like the results from the YouTube video we watched.
There are times when I pursue the cracks trying to fix them and at other times I ignore. I step over the broken chair in the dining room. I squint my eyes when looking at my face to blur the lines.
When I ignore the cracks, over time, they become worse. If I don’t treat my skin with my morning and night regime or forget to put the silk case on my pillow, the cracks in my face are deep and take hours to recover. It seems as if they decide to just sit there reminding me to be more diligent in my care. The cracked tile gathers mildew which requires me to clean, when what I really need to do is replace the tile. (Is there a YouTube video for that?)
If some cracks are ignored, there is really no damage done. But imagine if there is a crack in a relationship. If there is a gap that continues to expand, and things disappear, falling into a place where there is no recovery.
I’ve had relationships that disappeared. I initially tried to retrieve them and then, I gave up. It’s OK that some have remained in a place I don’t want to visit. There are those I’ve fought for and worked at finding again. And, for those it was work. There were grumbles and sighs. In the end, they were found. Those required a flashlight to point out the good in the dark and sometimes the dark was my attitude or my approach.
I don’t like when the cracks and gaps take hold and appear. I don’t like that uneasy feeling of a break in something.
I give the book 5-Word Prayers by Lisa Whittle to friends who are diligent in their prayer or need words to pray. I’ve never read it but have heard it recommended repeatedly so it must be good, right? I’ve just started to read the copy I bought a few months ago. The first prayer in this 40-day devotional is ‘Thank you for finding me.’ The verse to study is Deuteronomy 30:4. It reads ‘Though you are at the ends of the earth, the Lord your God will go and find you and bring you back again.’
That verse doesn’t indicate He gives up or walks away or starts screaming and flailing about in frustration. It doesn’t put a limit on how out of reach an item (in this case, us) is or how difficult it is to get.
What reassurance. Even if we are at the ends of the earth, God is getting us. Not only does He get us, he goes and finds us. God. The big guy. He’s got lots to watch over and he pays the attention to each one of us to bring us back to Him. We are never too far for Him. He finds us. He doesn’t give up.
My keys are important. Without them, I can’t get too far. My phone is important. Without it, I couldn’t find my way to most places I visit. My mail is important. Without that, I may miss a bill due date or an invitation to somewhere fun.
We are even more important to God than our keys, phone and mail. Yet, I rarely give up looking for those when they fall in a crack in my car. I fight and fight and fight to find them.
I think my prayer to tack on to this devotion (maybe it is the 41st day) is ‘Thank you for not giving up on me. Thank you for keeping at it with me. Thank you for digging me out of my deep crack and putting me back in the game.’
Thank you for finding me.