Brennan Hawkins, the 11-year old boy who went missing from a Boy Scout Camp in Utah, was found alive and well this afternoon. Hallelujah! When I heard the news, I sat down and watched the news coverage as warm tears filled my eyes and trickled down my cheeks. I've been following this case because it hits very close to a real-life worry I have - one that I haven't verbalized to many people.
Dani is going on "trek" in a couple of weeks with her church youth group. She'll spend 5 days in the mountains of Colorado, climbing a 14,000-ft peak. She'll have plenty of chaperones and will be surrounded by friends and adults who love her. She'll be led by experienced mountain guides who know the terrain and the dangers. And Dani herself has experience - she and Darren climbed a 12,000 peak in New Mexico 4 years ago. Still.... I worry.
That's normal, isn't it? I'm a Mom. I worry EVERYtime my kids are in someone else's care. It's not debilitating worry. It's not anxiety. But there's always an underlying tinge of worry present. When Darren took the kids camping this spring (I was on a road trip with friends), I worried. The person I trust most in the whole WORLD was taking my kids camping, and I wasn't completely comfortable with that.
For the past few weeks, Dani and I have been gathering supplies and gear for Trek. And so it's been in the forefront of my mind that my precious daughter will be in the woods, on a mountain, where her every step and every split-second decision will be important. I've talked to her about acting responsibly, and paying close attention to things around her and the instructions given her. Because I worry.
When I first heard about Brennan's disappearance, my heart sank. I've been following the disappearance of Natalee Holloway in Aruba, and I continue to pray for her recovery and a happy ending. But the Brennan story gripped me for the past 4 days. When the good news broke today, Dani and I were both sitting here, and we watched (and continue to watch) the coverage together. It has afforded us a great opportunity to talk about what to do if you get lost in the wild.
In a day and age when we often hear about missing kids who are never found (or are found, but not alive), this, as one man said, is a modern-day miracle. Thank you, God!