Some famous people were once asked what they felt was the saddest word in the English language.  Here’s what some of them said:

Poet T.S. Eliot:  “The saddest word in the English language is, of course, ‘saddest.’ ”

Lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II:  “But.”

Writer Jon Dos Passos quoting John Keats:  “Forlorn!  The very word is like a bell.”

Psychiatrist Karl Menninger: “Unloved.”

Statesman Bernard M. Baruch:  “Hopeless.”

Harry S. Truman quoting John Greenleaf Whittier:  “For all the sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these:  ‘It might have been.’ ”

Alexandra Tolstoy:  “The saddest word in all languages which has brought the world to its present condition, is ‘atheism.’ ”

If you put all of these answers together, you have a faint picture of a soul without Christ.  Perhaps that word used by Keats captures it:  “Forlorn.”  It comes from the German word verloren which means “lost.”  The words of St. Paul come to mind:  “Without hope and without God in the world”  (Ephesians 2:12).

Years ago, one of the kids got separated from us in a crowded stadium.  Scanning the huge crowd, I zeroed in on him in another aisle, his eyes darting in all directions.  I saw him.  He did not see me.  I will never forget that look of panic, of “lostness” on his little face, nor the pounding of my own heart when I turned around and he wasn’t there.  Worse yet is when some child wanders off in a mall or at a carnival, has the time of his life, and doesn’t realize he’s lost until the darkness descends.  Some souls spend their whole lives “lost” – without God – and don’t even notice it – until it’s too late.
Christ came to seek and to save the lost.  He came looking for us and found us when we sought Him not – when we didn’t even understand how lost we were.  That love moves us to look for the lost among us and around us – with the prayer that God may bring them home.