In this season of Miracles, would God do less than deliver when asked?
Even on a day when life is spinning wild with errands, with that mad rush toward a day for Celebration.
Even when it’s only a worried mother asking that the search for what is lost might have a good ending.
An afternoon romp in the melting snow for the Pup seemed like a good idea. Snow is new to him and his winter coat hasn’t thickened, but he is silly with the excitement over this new world. He stays near the barn at first, following the family dog to trace crazy circles across the yard while a foggy mist draws the day toward dusk. But soon the family dog is waiting at the front door and the pup is not at her side. We call. He doesn’t come.
Darkness is falling and the fog lays heavy on the doorstep. We wrap ourselves in coats, pull on the boots and grab flashlights. We fan out across the farm, into the hills behind the house, calling out for the Pup. Husband takes the car to drive slowly down our country road, hoping he won’t find what he is looking for in the grassy ditches. Turning into a field, he drives along the fence, shining his lights, window rolled down in the cold mist, whistling but hearing no bark in return.
Son ventures deep into the barns, shining his light into corners filled with sawdust, hoping he’ll see the brown mound of fur, hunkered down for a nap. We holler and whistle, leaving our own crazy circles in the sloppy snow.
For an hour the three of us search, coming back together to ask……
“Did you check there, in the shed?”
“Didn’t I hear barking at the neighbors?”
We keep our phones with us, calling to report with anxious voices. Nothing yet.
We join forces and drive into a far field, along a creek bank, following what can only be seen in our headlights. Tracks — not deer or possum, possibly dog tracks? Into the woods and out again, across the field and back. More crazy circles in the snow.
Another 15 minutes pass. Another field and more tracks. Son jumps out of the car again and again to inspect new tracks. He hops out a final time, determined to follow them. Into tall grasses, under low bushes, he shines his light. Our hunt is futile, I fear, and think to ask that we turn back. But Son persists, calling as he swings his flashlight toward the creek.
So I pray, as I’ve been praying through this long evening.
“Please, God,” I say again. “Please show us where he is.”
I’m as worried for the Son who won’t give up the search as I am for the one who is lost. This search, I can see, it holds meaning for him. Searching for what is lost. He can’t let it go.
And I whisper again. “Please, God. A miracle. A Christmas miracle.”
I pray believing. God wants this. He wants a good ending.
Suddenly, I hear Son laugh, hear him say the pup’s name, crouching low, calling softly to the lost one who is shivering with fear and cold. Son coaxes him from under the tree, scoops him into his arms, tucks him under his coat. He is speaking to the bundle, voice full with emotion. “I’m sorry,” he says. “You’re okay. I’m sorry.”
And my tears flow because God has answered.
Yes, I’ll take this Christmas miracle.