The Lost Boy

What a beautiful day. Greenville is currently in the 60 degrees and sunny mood. She’s been a little unpredictable as of late, but I’m so thankful she chose to decide on something warm and bright for this saturday.

I’m following along with our brothers and sisters at Freedom Church as they embark on a journey called #devoted2014. So far, it’s been INCREDIBLE! Just what I needed for this season in life. Today, we were asked to take a 20 minute walk while meditating on Proverbs 3:5-6. I cleaned up my house this morning, and for whatever reason chose 2:30 in the afternoon to take this walk.

It started great. I chatted with the Lord about what I didn’t understand about his ways. I thanked him for showing himself faithful in the trials and in the good times. I even asked that he would be more present in the dark times. I mean, he’s there, but I often forget to look.

Maybe 7 minutes passed when I saw a little boy on a bicycle waiting at the intersection of trail and road by a local park. I have no idea why, but I chose at that moment to turn around and head back the other direction. He and his bright blue bike zoomed past me, but I didn’t see a parent behind him. Something wasn’t right. I felt an urge to call after him, but I didn’t. Looking back, I’m kicking myself for not stopping him, now knowing that was probably the holy spirit prompting me to do so.

I saw a woman with a stroller and two dogs approach me from behind and thought maybe that was his mom. Her pace was quickening.

We kept rounding bends in the trail and he wasn’t in sight. If this was the boy’s mom, I knew she must be panicking. She stopped and I continued walking in hopes that I might see him up the trail a little farther. I began asking everyone if they’d seen a little boy on a blue bike and no one had. Soon the mother came my way. I told her I’d keep looking, and made my way to some offshoots of the trail. No sign of him.

Soon I raced back to catch up with her as I heard her manic cries of his name from a distance. The poor mother. When I saw her again, she was shaking, tears pouring from her eyes, as she tried to get the words out to her husband on the phone that she lost their son. I asked if there was anything more I could do. More walkers, bikers and runners were now involved in the search. I held her dogs and followed her around as she kept looking. We finally called 911. All I could think to do was put a hand on her shoulder and start praying as I couldn’t imagine the grief she felt.

Maybe 10 minutes later, a man came running down the hill saying he and his girlfriend found the boy in the parking lot of a nearby church. Relief. We caught up to him and about 3 police officers moments later. She was so thankful. She held her little boy and I watched everything else in the world melt away. “Just don’t ever do that again,” I heard her say.

She thanked me and the couple who found him. I never really got a chance to talk to the woman. She may never remember me and that’s okay. I’m just so thankful the Lord saw it fit to put me on that trail for a reason, even if it was just to pray.

It also reminded me of the extent the Lord will go to bring his children home. He doesn’t panic, but he is concerned. Each and every one of us hold a significant place in his heart. When we sin, when we walk away, he still loves us. But when he has us in his arms again, I know he leans over and says, “Just don’t ever do that again.” And it’s for our own good.

That little boy was about to cross the street. He could’ve been hit by a car or something worse. Our parents gave us rules to protect us. And I think God was trying to remind me that trusting in Him, leaning not on my own understanding are like those rules. His ways are better. He wants the best for us. He will do everything to direct us on an amazing path.

I’m really glad I went on that walk today.

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