As dawn breaks the morning after our community receives devastating news, I am drawn to the sun spilling over the trees and casting it’s light on the frost covered grass. I think of a precious miracle child and his momma, oh how her heart must be aching. A pain I wish to never have to endure. A pain that you can only start to even imagine if you haven’t felt it yourself.
6 years ago I was that mom who had three kids in school and a toddler at home. We spent a lot of time at the bus stop that year. Two different schools meant 4 different bus stop times. The toddler was playing in the living room while I tended to the wash. I told him I was headed to swap a load around and would be right back up. 3 minutes later the 3 year old was gone. I checked the bathroom, bedrooms, back yard…then the panic hit. The fear while trying to remain calm…it was just 3 minutes…after searching every inch of our 1700 square foot home and backyard, I flew out the front door…where is my baby? As I reached the street, I can vividly still see him standing at the bus stop with the elderly lady who lives in the house there. From 5 houses away he looked the size of a thumbnail.
I felt for an instant the gripping fear of not knowing where my child was, in the middle of a beautiful sunny afternoon, not in the middle of a cold night. My arms got to hold my baby boy again. As this day begins, he comes out of his room all sleepy eyed and crawls onto the sofa next to me. I pull him close and rub his head and tilt his head to see his smile. In the same moments, she aches for her son. Her arms empty. I am thankful.
I am thankful that God allows us the opportunities to be pulled together for His glory. Isn’t that the reason these things happen? Isn’t He pulling us in, closer to Him? I witnessed a community, not just a family, but an entire community and beyond of people who got on their knees to pray for this missing boy. A community who stayed up for 3 days, relentlessly searched and prayed. He brought together thousands of people, turned to millions when the story went beyond local. He was able to bring millions of people together to pray for a momma’s aching heart. Only He can do that. Only He knew from the start where this momma’s baby was the entire time. He goes before us, and beside us and He was with him.
How easily can we get lost? How easily can we lose our way? How often do we get distracted by our daily that we wonder off in mind and spirit and how do we make our Father’s heart ache? How often do we leave His arms…are we searching for Him? Who is searching for us? Is He looking for us in this forest of life, on the banks of a river of too busy and too distracted? He is there, He is up and He is waiting with His arms open. Are we there as a community waiting for each other? Praying the lost ones Home? Home in His arms?
As this year dawned anew, as this day dawns anew…my aching heart for this momma who’s baby is Home, for his siblings who ache to play with him, for all his family and friends and for this community who sleeplessly searched for him, we pray for peace and comfort. We pray for those who are lost and who He brought Home through this tragic story. May we continue to search for those who are lost, or distracted and need to find hope. May we glorify Him in our search so that this family’s pain isn’t hollow.