Profile - Alessy - He leaves the ninety-nine to look for the lost sheep

What does it really mean when a father leaves everything, to go and look for a child that is lost? How would that feel for a child to know that his Dad has left everything to go and look for him?

Unfortunately I have never been able to answer that question because I have never experienced it until...

Hello, I am Alessandra (known as Alessy since I’ve realised how many people get confused with my full name). I am married to John and we have 2 lively girls who keep us on our toes and as if that wasn't enough, we recently decided to have a puppy, Milo, who loves spending his time chewing on things!. I LOVE cooking, and although it doesn’t sound very Italian, I think the slow cooker is the best invention ever. It makes me feel so happy when I know that the slow cooker is cooking my meal and when I get home I am welcomed by that lovely smell of casserole! Anyway, that is not why I decided to write this article, (we can talk about food another time) so lets move on...

I have been working for the church office for the past 3 1/l2years and roughly 2 years ago the office team went to Dymchurch for an outing. Of course, being the Italian that I am, I arrived at Dymchurch later that morning than everyone else. I had been told where to park and meet the others but felt a bit lost. So I called Richard Burgess (one of the church elders). He asked me where I was but I could only describe what I could see around me, and then I heard him say, “I am coming to find you”. We hung up, (well, actually Richard did), because for a few seconds I could think of nothing else, apart from: he has left everyone else to come and find me. He did find me eventually and the day carried on as normal, although something has changed for me since then...

That day I grasped what it means to have a father that leaves everything to go and find his lost son / daughter. Every time I think about it my heart swells with joy and my eyes with tears, that God used someone to show me what it means to “leave the 99”.

Until now, Richard hasn't realised the impact of that gesture and probably he didn't think anything of it and that is why I would like to say: Never underestimate the impact that your little gestures can have on people. Gestures that can heal wounds, encourage, comfort, or simply allow others to understand how overwhelming, never ending, and reckless the love of God really is.

- Alessy Alexander

'Reckless Love' is sung by Cory Asbury, who said this about the song:

"When I used the phrase, 'the reckless love of God,' when we say it, we're not saying that God Himself is reckless, He's not crazy. We are, however, saying that the way He loves, is in many regards, quite so... His love leaves the ninety nine to find the one every time and to many practical adults that's a foolish concept. Well, what if He loses the ninety nine in finding the one, right? What if, finding that one lost sheep is and always will be supremely important?"

Gateway Church Ashford, is a church in Ashford, Kent, and is part of the New Frontiers movement and within the Catalyst Network sphere.