It seems silly for the shepherd to leave the flock behind to go out and find one sheep that strayed away, one lamb in peril. As a mother, however, I realize that I spent time with the one child who needed it most, thinking – hoping – that the others were doing well enough so that I could give my undivided attention to the one who needed it most. When my daughter was six years old, she had scarlet fever for the second time, and she was very ill in spite of the penicillin shot she received. Since she could hold nothing down, I fed her spoons of water and gave her tepid baths to bring down the raging fever that did not break until three days after that shot. Her brothers were three and four years old, and I plopped them in front of the TV or had them in the very next room where I could hear them while I sat my daughter’s bed caring for her. I played her favorite music for her, and on the third day, I was playing a recording of marches by John Philip Souza. When “The Stars & Stripes Forever” came on, she was doing something with one arm in time to the music, and I asked, “What are you doing?” She replied that she was marching, and she smiled at the joke. My eyes filled with tears as my heart rejoiced. In fact, even as I write this, tears come to my eyes. It was her first smile since becoming ill, and I knew that she was going to be okay. It was like the sun coming up after a long, dark night.

When have I left behind the “found” in order to tend to the “lost?”

Sharon Sullivan