I was there just after they found her.
All day long, first responders had searched for the missing little girl. The hours were full of questioning, incongruent stories, misinformation, additional questions, and a frantic, persistent search. Finally, the girl was found, in a place no one would think to look, in a condition no one ever wants to imagine.
When the first responders delivered her to the Emergency Room, I was there. It would be days before the whole story became clear, but for now, she was found. She was alive.
What’s seared into my memory is the look in the responders’ eyes. With situations like this, not just one or two emergency medical providers arrive with the patient. Sheriffs, detectives, police officers, firefighters . . . a crowd of heroes come through the door. They each walked into the building with eyes wide with fear. I could only guess what their last few hours had been like. Desperately searching, imagining the worst outcome, losing hope with each step. Even after learning that she was alive, their look of panic didn’t leave. I later learned that it took weeks and months for the impact of that horrific day to diminish for them.
Mary and Joseph found Jesus after three days of searching. Put yourself in their place for just a moment. Would you ever breathe easy again?
When we endure the worst experiences, what could someone say to ease the overwhelming ache in our hearts?
I am comforted, dear Jesus, when I remember that you experienced difficult moments in this world. You saw the look in your parents’ eyes. You understand. Amen.