We had a nearly horrific experience today. Zoe took her guinea pig outside this afternoon and became distracted somehow.  She forgot he was out there. He was not in a cage, just with her until she set him down. Well, she came in eventually, forgetting he was even outside and only remembered much later in the day when she went into her room to see him again and he was gone. It had been most of the day, hours.  She ran outside in an unbelievable panic. You have to understand. She really really loves this pet. Her forgetting him is no sign that she doesn't.  I have told her over and over that one day she would lose him outside.  I told her he didn't belong outside and she would tell me he liked the fresh air and the freedom.  well today, he tasted freedom like no other time in his tiny life.  So she is running all over the yard looking for him frantically, I mean frantic, crying out loud and all. I can see on her demeanor that she hates herself.  I'm watching her from a perspective that is new to me.  She is truly experiencing heartache.  She runs and looks and lifts her hands and drops them and lifts them and drops them. She is completely beside herself and whispering every mean thing she could imagine in her own ear.  I see it, I know what is happening and it is heartbreaking to see.  If she could have rung her own neck, she would have. It was horrible to watch. It was exactly like watching someone look for a missing child and not be able to find them; shear panic. I'm walking around with her, trying to say things that will calm her down like, "Where ever he is right this moment, he is okay.  He's probably very happy actually."  She couldn't hear me through all of the words running through her own head.  So we are all running around, looking for Peewee. And for the longest time we can't find him. She goes inside crying her eyes out, distraught and saying she could handle it better if he had just died but to know he was out there and she didn't know where he was was just too much.  So I went outside and looked again and again.  I just felt like he had to be right under our noses.  I just had to look one more time!!  Then inside of myself I prayed, "Lord, you know where he is right now. He's sitting somewhere and you know exactly where he is. Please let me see him."  I started walking toward a magnolia tree in the yard preparing myself to climb as high as I could in it to look down into the yard and hopefully see him somewhere.  Maybe I would see him moving or see his white, black and brown fur.  No sooner did I pray for help in finding him did the Lord turn my eyes and let me see him.  He was up against the fence all the way across the yard. I saw him from across the entire yard after we had been looking for over an hour.  I could have sworn we'd looked there over a dozen times. I know we did!  His fur must have blended with the leaves before now.  So I began to try to get him but he is terrified. He ran from me no matter what direction I came at him.  He was behind a bush and if I went to the right of the bush he ran to the left.  When I went around the left side of the bush he bolted back to the right.  It was comical I am sure and at that moment I was thankful for the privacy of the fence.  I was also nervous about the fence because it had some pretty large gaps in it between the boards and I was afraid he might slip through.  If he had, he would have been in our neighbors yard.  Not a neighbor we like to spend alot of time with either so I had to get that booger and get him now!!  I called for Mike and he came outside.  He had been trying to console Zoe up until now.  We chased that pig down, squealing and all.  I know they aren't really related to pigs, but they sure impersonate well, especially when being chased.  I think all we lacked was a mud puddle and a fine banjo rendition of Foggy Mountain Breakdown.  I finally grabbed him and brought him into the house and back to the one who loves him the most.  When she saw him it was relief and gratitude that words cannot describe. She held him for the rest of the night in her room.  I walked in her room just shortly after she had him back and she was crying her eyes out with her face up against him.  When she went to bed, she said with a tiny crack in her voice, "Mommy, thank you for finding my peewee. She hugged and kissed me."  One thing I know for sure, she won't take him outside anymore.
After all of this I can't help but wonder how the father felt in the story of the prodigal son as he watched and waited to see his son turn to come home.  The Bible says that when he saw him he ran to him!  Oh I can feel the joyous rapture he must have felt in his heart to see his son coming home.  I wonder about our own journeys back home to the Lord.  When a child is missing we will do anything it takes to bring them home.  And so God did, but for us he gave his child.  Can we even begin to wrap our minds around that kind of love?  My goodness does He love us.