Lost and found

As many of you are aware, I am adopted.On my birthday in June of this year, I was reunited with my birth mother after 62 years.

While both of us recognize the toll the adoption had exacted from us, neither of us were actively looking.By the grace of God, it simply occurred.

The result of that reunion has brought a sense of wholeness and home we both were longing for.The depth of longing was far greater than either of us fully recognized.It has been a joy-filled time of discovery.

That said, it has not been without its challenges.There has been a time of radical discovery which in normal mother and son relationships takes a lifetime to develop.

Things like, what do we call each other? After careful negotiation it was decided that Mom and Jake would work.There was the question of how to tell friends and family.

Then there is the sharing of stories and the incorporation of new chapters in those stories.

Finally (for now), there is the discovery of the power of genetics: looks, mannerisms, attitudes and behaviors which have been shared despite over six decades of separation.

All of this has led me to ponder our relationship with God in a new way, particularly as it is revealed in those "Lost and Found" parables: the lost sheep, the lost coin and the prodigal son.

St. Augustine once said, "That our souls are restless until they find their rest in you, O God."

How much of the yearning for wholeness in our lives, that we seek to complete with work, family, relationships, stuff, drugs, etc., is actually a hunger for the divine?

And while we spin in our own hamster wheel of pursuits, God is out there looking for us and calling us home.

When God finds us, God claims us by name, marks us as family, cleans off our past "dirt," incorporates our stories into the holy narrative, and sets on a journey of discovery.

It is a journey of discovery which will last a lifetime and if it is anything like the last couple of months for me it is one that promises much love and joy.

So maybe it's time to pause from our feeding frenzy, check our holy DNA, and allow ourselves to be found.n

(Jacobson is pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, Clarion, and assistant to the Bishop NWPA Synod Director for Evangelical Mission, ELCA.)