A Child Lost

She was about to be hit by a car


She was unaware

and rode her bike into traffic


And the three-lanes-deep only noticed her small figure

as she entered each lane


We were coming down the hill

and could see the scene play out

from our car


It was terrible

and we couldn’t get there fast enough

to warn the cars,

also unaware,

that a girl of only 10

was riding her bike in heavy traffic


Struggling to pedal,

seemingly in a hypnotic state,

she slowly made her way,

with screeching car brakes beside her

and people watching

as if it were a dream


And what should they do?


This can’t be real


My heart seems to stop

and I let out bursts of,

“No, watch out!  No!  No!  Don’t hit her!…”


and I thought

this would end soon

in horror


As we near the child

and see that each lane has stopped in time

she makes her way to the edge of the road


people moving on slowly,

destinations in mind


And I was in our car

two lanes from her

and my mama heart

could take it no longer


I told my husband to stop the car


“I’ve got to get out!”

and he knew the tone

and he knew this young girl needed someone,

for she continued riding along, swervingly,

right next to stunned but moving-on cars


And me in my heels

just out of church

start across the slow traffic

aware of the danger

and cautiously making my way to the girl


I reach her

and I don’t


She keeps struggling along the side of the road

on her bike

ignoring my voice


Was she drugged?

Was she traumatized?


She stops.


I stand in front of her

holding her handle bars

and she stares through me

as if I were transparent


I speak softly


“Sweetheart, what is your name?”

“Can you tell me your name?”

“Where are you going?”

“Who are your dad and mom?”




She pushes my hands off of her handlebars

and lays her bike down,

starting to run along the sidewalk


By now, husband is parked along the road,

another car has stopped,

and a man is also following

trying to help


911 is dialed


And I think to myself,

“What a strange scene I find myself in…”


A young girl

with messed up hair

and pajamas

jogging down the sidewalk,

a man chasing after her,

and me behind,

trying to catch up in high heels

while vehicles drive past



I just want this dear one to be out of danger!


I am motivated along

by a deep concern

for this child’s safety


a stranger’s child


The girl heads back our way

to get her bike,

and as she does

both the man and I

gently but firmly

keep the bike put


The dazed girl straddles it

trying to free our hands gripping


Question after question is met with distant stares

and a noise here and there


And as I look into her vacant blue eyes

beneath dirty, straggly hair,

and she starts to pound on her own head,

I realize

that she is most likely





And my heart saddens

for this precious girl

and her parents


for this is their reality

every day


A deep bond

and eyes lit up with knowing

is not happening

for this family


There is brokenness

and pain


And as the policemen arrive

and so kindly keep this child calm

we find out that her mama is looking for her

and she is on her way


We are no longer needed

“You can go now.”


My heart is heavy

as we drive away


I snap a photo in the rearview mirror

because I don’t want to forget

when God showed me what some go through

and how that must hurt

and tire

and discourage


And how God showed me

that each life matters

and His caring God-image is stamped on my heart


And how this scene,

this confusing

and scary

and hold-your-breath point in time

is a picture

of how our loving God,



and Just

chases us down the dangerous road

finding at times

people staring

but not seeing


People not responding to Him

to His love

to His concern

to His heart


And these people need to be safe in Him!

These people need to have His protection!


And He keeps pursuing


And He will


For that is His heart

and He seeks to save.


– Susie Stewart


For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

– Luke 19:10 (NIV)


Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons.  The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.

“A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living.  About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve.  He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs.  The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.

“When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger!  I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’

“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.  His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’

“But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet.  And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.

“Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house,  and he asked one of the servants what was going on. ‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’

“The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends.  Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’

“His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours.  We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’”

– Luke 15:11-32 (NLT)


Photo by Susie Stewart

3 thoughts on “A Child Lost

  1. Thank you Susie for a perfect way to start Valentine’s Day! For He is Love and we are His Beloved!!!!

    Have a blessed day!

    Sent from my iPhone


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