With my soul quieted and hands on the wheel I begin to notice the silence of countryside. A misty fog is coming in over the land, it settles in the low places, it softly flows over the waters of the Pine Creek. The sun does not pierce, it's light glows gently through the high places of the bushes and trees, hampered by the morning mist. My breath slows and tears form, and I realize the beauty and the sadness of it all. It is as though the land is being laid back to rest. Road 72 North. In a matter of days hundreds of people were familiar with this area of the country, the roads teeming with search and rescue vehicles, news anchors, volunteers with helping hearts and hands bearing food, and passersby with lifted prayers. All of our attention headed to a small homestead only 1 mile west. The fields of frozen mud were awakened to the pressing onward of teams of searchers, neighbouring yard sites combed through over and again, the dense bushes and tree lines mixed with dead fall and brush were sought through high and low, the meandering creek with it's mystery of frozen sheets of ice, and places of spring thaw, the focal point of that first night. It continued for five days, the radius expanding in kilometers. The countryside alive with the anxiousness and desperation for answers. I can imagine the wildlife finding it's own hiding place and the birds retreating back into the high treetops, maybe holding back their spring song. The weather was uncooperative, up and down quickly with its extremes, much like our emotions. All those travelling this road, were also travelling with the hearts of the parents enduring a pain that we could all imagine we'd feel; as we hold our children closer now.
It so hard to find any joy in all of this, for our hearts are blinded by grief and questions and it's hard to recognize Jesus in the fog. When He lifts the fog we see that has been along the road beside us the whole time. He has been searching tirelessly and weeping along side the hurting, given strength for the duty and diligence of our professional patrols and searchers, bonded the hearts of our community as we've loved our neighbours. He hears the unbelief and the criticisms of social media and points us to look at our own selves and the futility of life no matter how hard we try to keep accidents from happening. He takes up life again from the dead and carries the spirit of that precious child safe to his loving arms. He breaks the bread of life with us and nourishes us with healing and strength to carry on, just as the crowd was given nourishment to carry on at the search site. His family may cry why for a long time, there may be no answers for a long time. I hope we all will continue to pray as fervently as was prayed days ago that in time the fog will be lifted, that they can travel a new road, paved with healing and a hope that cannot be lost. The memories of their sweet boy will forever be etched in the road of their heart, there will be reminders, like bumps, that will always surface mingling pain and memory together. The land and the waters will cry out his name for a long time. And in those moments down the road I hear to how the heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. Psalm 19:1 And there is hope.
For Easter is celebrated in vain if Jesus had not been resurrected to give us hope. It is a celebration of praise that we do not have to be alone in the pain of death but can rise to a new hope. I heard on Sunday that one can only live four minutes without air and only seconds without hope. Thank our God that death is defeated and that he brings his little ones with love into his sheltered wings. And deal kindly with those suffering the pains on earth and give them hope by continuing to walk along the road beside them. So that they may again hear the birds in the treetops sing their songs.