I’m Lost

“Pauline,” I heard the faint call of my mom from her asparagus-green-bedroom.

“I’ll be there in a minute, Mom.”

My plan was to finish the dirty dishes and bring her a cup of coffee.

“Pauline,” I heard her call again. “I’m lost.”

I deposited my dish towel on the counter and entered her room. I figured she’d be tottering around the room with her walker, instead, she was still tucked into bed. The shiny grandma cap from
Walmart framed her withered face. She lay crunched up in her hospital bed, smothered in blankets.

“I don’t know which room I’m in.”

I recited my usual reassuring “room message.” “You’re in your green room, Mom. See this picture of our family.” I pointed to the faded Olan Mills framed directly in front of her.

“Yes, I see it. That helps me.”

My eyes tear as I bring her the warm java, cooled by two ice cubes.

We talk a little and wait for Berta to arrive. At 81, Berta is ten years Mom’s junior and one of her caregivers. Mom feels safe once again.

“I’m lost,” echoes through my mind all morning. It must be terrifying for Mom, yet when she sees me, she knows where she is.

I remember one time when I was ten. I’d just finished sledding down the Quentin Heights Elementary School hill in Topeka, Kansas. I got off of my sled, and for a few minutes, I didn’t know where I was. Sure, I saw tons of people, and knew what they were doing. But I felt as if I was watching them and not really there. In a crowd, but completely isolated.

I still remember that day.

At almost 53, (tomorrow is the big day) I sometimes still feel lost like I did when I was ten. Surrounded by people who are strangers, I read about the daily atrocities not only in my community, but in the world. It makes me feel unsafe, unsure, alone. Isolated.

I wonder how many people are like that today. In a crowd, but lost. Sometimes, when they stop for just a while, they might realize they’re lost, but not sure. They may not even know what they’re lost from. They just feel alone. Isolated.

When I feel lost, I do what my mom does. I call out for help. I look to the One who gives my life purpose.

Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Then I realize which room I’m in–the waiting room. Earth is not my home, that’s why sometimes I’m uncomfortable here.

Are you lost? I’d love to talk with you about that over a cup of coffee, minus the ice cubes.

Email me if you’d like.

I’ll be praying about that.


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