Have you ever been in Walmart when they announce a Code Adam? If you are unfamiliar with this code, it is an announcement they make over the speaker system in the store to announce that a child is missing. As I understand it, once a Code Adam is announced, all employees are immediately on the lookout until the child is found.
I have witnessed this twice while shopping, and never want to experience what the parents must have felt as they endured those torturous moments before their children were finally found. And I can’t help but compare this type of scene to the turmoil we must cause our Heavenly Mother at times. She loves us more than our earthly mothers ever could, so when we are lost to her, it is all the more traumatic.
Just as the child enters the store with his mother, so we enter into our faith with our Heavenly Mother. Mary, knowing what we need for our own well being and how to obtain it, carefully steers us towards what is good in this world to help us grow strong in virtue.
But sometimes we wander from the safety of Our Mother and of our faith. Something catches our eye, the snares and temptations divert our hearts and we blindly head down the “toy aisle.” We slip away from sanctity, “Just for a moment,” we tell ourselves. “It will be alright.”
But soon, we are completely engrossed in what is on the shelves. Fashion dolls entice us with materialism or immodesty. Violent toys encourage us to envision scenes of predatory violence. Brightly packaged candy inspires us to gluttony. And endless selections of computer games or social media train us for a slothful life. Life is indeed an aisle of cleverly packaged toys, and it is all too easy to wander down the wide and cheerful path, hardly even realizing we have wandered far from the narrow pathway Home.
But hopefully our conscience will eventually break through the enticing ways of the world long enough for us to realize that we are lost. And when that finally happens, suddenly nothing matters to us so much as finding Our Mother.
If a child realizes he is lost in a store, he will breeze past the temptations that so recently held him captive, and with steadfast determination, and will seek only one thing: Mother. Sometimes he feels fear – fear that she is gone and that he will never see her again. And sometimes there is sorrow – tears of remorse for straying so far from her. Either emotion is appropriate, and neither emotion is relieved until mother and child are reunited once more.
On the mother’s side, there is a more intense anxiety. She may search alone, but only for a few moments. For her, she knows the dangers that can befall a wayward child more than the child could ever know, and her urgency to be reunited is much stronger.
Most often, a parent will alert other shoppers or store employees that a child is missing. And just as a mother asks other shoppers and employees to help her seek her child, Mary calls upon the members of the Church to pray to help her wayward children, and enlisting the help of the Saints and Angels in her attempt to bring sinners back.
My husband used to be a Kid Escape instructor and taught children the incredibly effective yet simple method of Grip, Dip, and Spin to prevent a child abduction. With this method, the child does everything in his or her power to get down on the ground and hold on to the abductor’s legs while hollering for help. This calls attention to the criminal, which is not what he wants. He, like Satan, prefers to work silently and in secret, and once the child attracts unwanted attention, he will flee.
We must teach our children to do the same with temptation. Instead of gripping Satan at the ankles, though, we need to train them to fall immediately to their knees in prayer and cry out for help. What mother, upon hearing her child’s desperate cry, would not come running to her child’s aid? Would we expect anything less of our Mother in Heaven? Not only will Mary fly to her child in need, but she will bring with her an army of Saints and Angels to help defend her little one. And Satan will flee.
We must always be aware of the temptations that lead us astray, and take heart that no matter how strongly enticed we may be, our loving Father has given us a Mother who will heed her children’s cries for help. Call to her when you are lost. She will initiate a Code Adam in Heaven and all the Saints and Angels will join her in seeking out each one of her lost children, making sure that at the end of our days, it is Our Blessed Mother’s hand we are holding as we head towards the check out line.
Copyright 2014, Cassandra Poppe