Today on this Thankful Thursday, we were awakened to the sound of a helicopter hovering overhead.
We went down to the kitchen and Winters poured a cup of coffee. The helicopter still hovered. We knew it meant one of two things: there was a major accident nearby, or else the police were out looking for someone.
“That can’t be good,” he said. I knew that this was serious coming from an investigative reporter like Winters. And within seconds the phone rang. It was one of the photographers at the paper. His message was short and the news was, as Winters suspected, not good.
A teenager was missing. And with that, Winters was off to see what had happened and gather as much information as he could to file a story for the newspaper and to try to help find this young man.
I did the only thing I knew to do in a situation like this. And really, the only thing you can do is pray. All I could think of was the family. A mother and father just like you and I worried now for the life of their son. I thought of our SONS and how I worry about them just walking to the neighbor’s house or getting out of sight in some store and not answering me when I call out to them. How my heart pounds at those times, when uncertainty about their welfare turns to fear.
I thought about the fact that as parents, we must let go and let our children grow up and be independent. Then I thought how that is so much easier said than done.
So I prayed some more. I prayed for the family. I prayed for the young man to be found. I prayed for him to be found alive.
Winters soon returned to say that the young man went missing last night and that many of our friends were out helping with the search for him. My thoughts then turned to my childhood friend who was murdered while I was in college.
I always think of her when someone goes missing. I can’t help it. I thought her mother and how she contuinues to be a blessing, a light and a gift in a dark world where she has experienced so much loss – yet gives back so much love. Then I gave thanks to God that I have her in my life. I also thought of Blake Chappell, a young man whose body was found in October of 2011 here in Newnan and how much his mother must miss him. I thought of his mom and said a prayer for her.
I thought about how we can choose to live the blessing in the worst of circumstances, but that too is easier said than done. Yet some live out God’s love and mercy in the midst of the most tragic situations with such amazing grace and beauty.
I thought about it being Thankful Thursday and how hard it was to turn my heart to all my blessings when I knew a mom was hurting and worrying about the fate of her only child just less than a half a mile way.
So I prayed some more and in the background you could hear the hum of a helicopter.
I again prayed the son would be found and found alive.
He was an Eagle Scout, so my friend and I agreed he should know what to do in the woods all night, alone, in the rain and cold. That gave me some comfort.
And I prayed some more. It was now after breakfast. I continued to pray.
And then the news came …
He was found. The first question - was he alive?
Elation, joy, and relief all ran through my heart and body as I heard he was found alive.
So I did what I knew to do and I gave thanks on this Thankful Thursday. I gave thanks that a mother and father have their son home alive. They have so much to be thankful for and frankly don’t we all.
Then I prayed for those whose children did not come home.
So on this Thankful Thursday I urge us to give thanks that a son was lost but is now found.
Be blessed and encouraged abundantly on this Thankful Thursday!