Just before sunset last night, Shelley and I were getting ready to take a walk, when our doorbell rang. A woman who lives across the street from us was standing with two of her children on our porch. “Have you seen Lisa [not her real name]?” she asked.

A girl about the same height as our neighbor’s oldest boy had gone missing. Though our neighbor believed that Lisa had run away and hid because of a disagreement she’d had with another child, nobody really knew.

Shelley and I followed our neighbor and her kids out of our cul-de-sac and around the corner to a large community park. We could see several other neighbors–grownups and children–spread across the meadow, hunting through the bushes and trees at its edge. Two sheriff’s cars were nearby. The sky was getting darker, and everybody was probably thinking about recent news stories about how strange men had tried to entice local girls.

I hurried home to get the brightest flashlight we had. By the time I returned, I saw that all the neighbors had gathered together and were slowly walking back toward me. A woman was crying loudly. When I got to Shelley, she told me that Lisa had been found.

I won’t soon forget the sight of all those neighbors, many of whom might not even have known the girl well, if at all. Yet their common concern had led them to join forces to save the lost.

Which is of course what Heaven and its inhabitants have been doing for many centuries. What’s encouraging is that we’re not strangers to them. They know us well, and their King loves us–literally–to death.