When it comes to heels and toes, my family of eight produces more dirty socks than a herd of caterpillars. Socks come in so many shapes and sizes. No matter how hard we try, there always seems to be a stray, that one sock that hangs around the laundry room looking for a mate.

I am embarrassed to admit that on more than one occasion, I have been forced to pull on unmatched socks. It’s not so bad if you are wearing trousers, but a tube sock on one leg and an ankle sock on the other won’t win you a fashion award when you are wearing shorts!

I’ve tried crunching a tube sock but it still looks like a legwarmer when compared to an ankle sock. Tube socks are designed to look like tubes, not accordions. Let your wife catch you heading out the door dressed accordingly, and she is sure to tackle you like a linebacker.

I will never forget sitting in a meeting when a coworker looked in utter shock to discover she was wearing one black and one blue sock. I felt redeemed! I thought this was a disease known only to men! I resisted the urge to e-mail the entire office. It was all I could do to keep from commenting, “I bet you have another pair just like those at home!”

If you think about it, women really do have an unfair advantage. Most wear pantyhose, and pantyhose are connected at the top. What are the chances of getting your pantyhose mixed up? But then again, until I decide to rob a bank, I think I will stick with socks.

Nobody likes folding socks. But the time had come recently to round up the wanderers. I rallied the troops, determined to tackle a basket of assorted socks before bedtime. You could feel the excitement and energy in the room. Yippee! Why watch a movie, play the Wii or ride bicycles when you could be folding socks!

Groans and moans prevailed until one small voice brought the room to silence. “I like folding socks,” my next-to-youngest daughter, Emily, announced. “Folding socks brings the family together. It’s like playing the matching game.”

What was this, a positive attitude about the worst of all household chores? Could fun be found in such mundane activity? In a matter of seconds Emily had us laughing, playing and competing to see who could match socks the fastest. When I announced I had found the last matching pair, she called for an instant replay. She took great pride in unfolding the socks and pointing out that the colors didn’t match! She socked it to me. Mama’s girl came shining through!

I’m sure glad God doesn’t give up on us. As Isaiah 53:6 makes so very clear, we all like sheep have gone astray. But as Luke 15:4 proclaims, He loves us so much; He leaves the 99 to find the one. Call it what you may, lost sheep, wayward sons or even stray socks, God is in hot pursuit. Friends and family may fold, but God’s love for us never fails.