Many of you heard the news last night that "Shiny kid" or "Kid # 3" disappeared. I remember when kid # 2 got lost in an airport, he was around 5, and as I described to the security guard what he was wearing, I started crying. The thought of milk cartons and "the last thing he was wearing" popped into my head. We found kid # 2 within 10 minutes, but it was still really scary. But last night, with kid # 3 (just trying to keep their names off of this public place), he was missing for 3.5 hours. Most kids will disappear into a friends house, or you'll see their bike around the neighborhood, but after an hour of searching... nothing. Besides, # 3's not like that, he's an indoor kid. He LOVES to read, he loves video games, he loves mom... he loves home. He's a sweet kid. I always said if there was a masculine name for Joy, I'd go back and rename him that.
So we canvassed the area... all of us. Every street, every path, every cul-de-sac. Neighbors probably thought they were all under suspicion... and some probably were. After two hours... the worry turns to those thoughts... "The Shack" kind of thoughts, if you've read that book. You start to panic... and just like in the movies, you start making deals with God. I of course made mine and by the time my husband hit the fire station over a mile away, he was asking God to take his life and let Sammy live. Quite emotional these things, when you don't know what's going to happen.
Turns out he decided to go exploring, something he'd never done, and got lost. He said these thoughts popped into his head, that if he ran away from home, he wouldn't have to do his homework. This is a kid who LOVES home. Wonder who put those thoughts in his head... Satan is trying to get our kids. If he can't do it outdoors, he'll chase 'em down indoors. Through video games, computers, friends and mind games... fear and the like. A nice lady found Sam, sat beside him in the cold, put a jacket around his shoulders and waited for the police to come. She was the hands and feet of God that day. May I be that too. "My joy" said he thought he would have to spend the night outdoors... thought he might not see us for a few days. He was actually in the next town, although he was only 2 miles or so away.
Two things stuck out to me last night. One was that when I went to bed, I thought how differently that night could have ended. If we hadn't found him, that night wouldn't have ended. It would still be going on now and maybe for years to come. Torture... horror... agony... unending pain. What others have suffered!!! The second thing I noticed was that his smell had changed. He had been sitting on the corner of a busy intersection for hours. People had been cutting their grass all around him. He smelled of fumes and gasoline. Needless to say, I didn't like that smell on him. My older child that got lost 13 years ago... #2... I wonder how, being out in the world, has changed his smell. I wonder how the scent of my daughter in college has changed. Looking back, it seems to take but the time of an inhale/exhale... and they are gone. The world gets on them... literally and figuratively. May I offer some advise? If you are going to bathe them in anything... anything at all... bathe them in prayer. You have everything to lose if you don't, and their souls to gain if you do!