Father holding his son in his arms.

Little boy lost

I know the feeling.

There's an emptiness, a hollowed out darkness inside of you. You look around and nothing or no one looks familiar.

The sounds are deeper, bolder than ever before. The lights glare in your eyes every time you lift your head to look around. Most of the time your head is down in despair because you cannot believe it...you're lost!

You might think because of the title of this story I was indeed talking about a child. The truth is I have felt that way as an adult.

I was reminded of that on Saturday when Marianne and I were in a local Barnes and Noble bookstore. We often wander around separately, she heads off to check on things of interest to her and I? I just wander.

It comes very easily to me now. I wander because I want to watch and meet people. I often times can't go ten minutes without having a conversation with someone.

I try not to intrude, so I start off by complimenting them.

"I love that tie!" or "Your child is beautiful!" I don't just make it up, I mean it.

It was while wandering that I saw him.

The store was packed with parents and children because, believe it or not, Santa was there. I should have known something was up when we were greeted by five or six young ladies wearing reindeer and elf hats.

Most times you can browse through a book store in relative peace and quiet. Not this time.

Children darted in and out of the aisles, parents lagged behind trying to keep after them.

For whatever reason my eye caught a young boy, who didn't seem as enthused as the others. I heard one woman say, "Is he okay?" She didn't stop to find out.

I did.

I carefully followed him in and around the children's section. I sadly say carefully, because in times like this, a perfect stranger, let alone a man, following a child, could easily be misconstrued as evil in the making.

I tried to get the attention of one of the "elves" passing by but she was too caught up in the image on a poster of the star from the latest vampire movie.

"Oh, my God, he's gorgeous!" she shouted and then darted away.

Finally I saw the young boy move frantically across the store. He stopped and turned toward me. He was rubbing his eyes, now red from tears and the thought of never finding his parent. I decided I had to help in spite of the fact that I was indeed a stranger.

"Young man, are you lost?" I asked.

Still rubbing his eyes he sniffled, looked up at me and said in a muffled whisper, "yes."

I pointed out that we were right near the kiosk in the center of the store.

"Look, why don't you go over there..." I started to say when suddenly I heard, "Paul!" "Paul!"

A man rushed through the crowd and the young boy ran to him burying his face in the man's chest.

I smiled with great satisfaction and heard a woman nearby say to me, "That was kind of you to help him."

I felt relieved and oddly validated as being one of the good guys in this world.

Here is what I loved the most. I have seen parents and children reunited in similar situations. Most parents scream and yell at the child for having wandered off. This man held and comforted his son. Chills rushed over my body. My eyes filled with tears as I walked away.

But it wasn't over. Later I found the same man down on his knees holding his son, Paul. He repeated this again and again... "Son, I would never leave you. Never, ever, ever, ever leave you."

I am shaking even as I write this now not just because of how wonderful that was, but I swear to you, I heard it as if God was speaking to me.

Father to son...

"Son, I will never leave you. Never, ever, ever, ever leave you!"

This "Little boy lost" was found again at 59 wandering a bookstore.

"Listen. He speaks to you, not in a big resounding voice. Sometimes He speaks through the whimper of a child."

"I wish you enough!"
~ Bob Perks ~

Good news - Bob Perks' first book, "I Wish You Enough," Embracing Life's Most Valuable Moments... is now available for ordering. Here's the "Link" to get your copy of Bob's book: I Wish You Enough from Amazon.com.
[ by: Bob Perks Copyright © 2009 (2believe@comcast.net) -- {used with permission} ]

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