Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. [Luke 15:23b,24 NIV]
From the AP via WBIR-TV:
When [Jody Hawkins] learned that [her son Brennen] was alive and OK, she says it was something she couldn’t comprehend.
From CNN.com’s interview with rescuer Forrest Nunley:
PHILLIPS: Did you embrace him? Did he embrace you?
NUNLEY: Oh, yes. Yes. He is a skinny little guy when I hugged him. …
But it was a real special, real spiritual experience for me to find him like that. …
The rescue of Brennen Hawkins of Bountiful, Utah – a cub scout who was lost in the wilderness for 4 days, reportedly afraid of being snatched away by those who combed the area looking for him – has been called a ‘modern day miracle’ by many. As they reported it – and I wish there was video online of the moment I saw – Fox News anchor Shepard Smith and reporter Alicia Acuna were excited and emotional… for a moment they lost that professional veneer and were just happy, amazed humans ready to join in the celebration. I’m a mom, my son is a scout… for a moment the reporters, the search & rescue people, the family & friends, and all of us watching could celebrate together. It was precious, it was breathless, it was real, and it was good for a change! Brennen realized he was lost, overcame his fear, stepped out of hiding, trusted his rescuer, and was found!
It is painful to me as a mother to think about my children being lost… it’s the stuff of which nightmares are made. Too often, especially of late, children are lost and not found, or found dead – their innocence and life violently stolen away. It breaks my heart to think that my children would need me and be unable to get to me, or me to them.
How much more painful is it to God to think about his lost children? So many of his beloved ones wander lost, captured or hiding in sin – wealth, lust, self-reliance, control, pride, and myriad idols. God’s love is undiminished by ‘lostness’… in fact, I believe he longs for each of his children to find and be found by him with intensity that far surpasses that of even an earthly parent’s frenetic desire to find a lost child before it is too late. And, like Toby and Jody Hawkins’ complete joy and astonishment at finding Brennen not only alive, but well, overflowed to all who heard the news, God’s joy is complete at each person’s return to relationship with him and overflows from his heart through all eternity. God our Father rejoices when we recognize we are lost, step out of hiding, and trust Jesus, our true Rescuer.
” ‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ ” [Luke 15:31,32 NIV]