Sunday, June 13, 2010


While pleased as punch that when you do a google search on "alligators in Lake Wylie", my blog is the top hit, I am moving on to a new subject....after one brief update on the severe alligator situation in Lake Wylie. I contacted the management of Tega Cay, the section of Lake Wylie we kayak from, and asked him to give it to me straight. In an inflatable kayak, easily punctured by teeth that are designed to rip living muscle to shreds, was I in any danger from alligators in the lake?
He assured me that the only sighting of an alligator was a year ago and it was far from Tega Cay and the wildlife people tried to catch it, but it was so skittish about coming anywhere near people that they could never get anywhere near it.
"You should be fine," he said.
So with no alligator ever sighted in Tega Cay waters, Asherel and I officially close the blog on alligator discussion. ("They are going to get bored, " Asherel warned me.)

Yesterday before beginning my flurry of a day, I went on a bike-ride along the greenway near our home. I was lost in daydreams about the gorgeous civil war era home I want to buy, and the upcoming trip to visit my beloved son and my parents next week. At my turnaround point, I spied a young boy, close to tears, his face screwed in distraught worry. A woman was trying to talk to him, but he, like the Lake Wylie alligator was skittering away. (Ok, I promise you, no more mention of the alligator.) Having been a skittery child myself, I could see the boy was lost, this was not his mom, and while she was trying to help, the child was terrified. I pulled up to the pair.
"Are you lost?" I asked.
He nodded, but sidled away.
"Were you with your parents?" asked the lady. Ana, I later found out was her name.
He looked at us mutely. He was frozen in confusion and fear.
"Did you come from that direction?" I pointed down the Greenway. He nodded.
"Or from there?" asked Ana, pointing in the opposite direction. He nodded.
"What's your name?" I asked.
He looked like I had asked him about the Lake Wylie alligator. (oops! no more alligators!)
"Do you know your phone number?"
He nodded. Ana handed him her phone after he quietly told her the number. It rang and rang. It was a home, not cell phone.
"I have a cell phone," I said, "How about if I bike down the trail and if I see people looking for a lost boy, I will call you Ana."
"What's your name?" I asked again.
"Will," he whispered, clutching his shirt.
So Ana and I exchanged numbers, she was going to wait by the bridge there, and I started off on my bike. I was only about 2 minutes down the trail when Ana called me. The boy's father had come from the other direction right as I left. Will was found, reunited with his loved ones, and I was free to go on with no worries about Lake Wylie alligators stalking my thoughts.

There is a lot of grief in this world, but for me, the saddest always involves children. I knew the boy was in safe hands, that Ana was a lovely woman who wanted to help, and I wanted nothing more than to help him find his folks. But he didn't know that. We were strangers, and he wanted his mom.

Once when Anders was very young, he had somehow become separated from his church class, and wandered into the main sanctuary. A friend of ours saw him, and brought him to us. Anders was trembling and crying.
"All I saw," he told me, "Was a room full of mass murderers."

And that is how the world often seems to a lost and frightened soul. Being lost is terrifying. But I think perhaps a greater horror is being lost and not knowing it. Believing you are safe, trusting in a false guide, a shepherd who leads to pastures you should never approach. My prayer for that little boy Will, and all the lost children of creation is that they would find the Father who is so earnestly and constantly calling them home.

Jeremiah 50:6-7

6 "My people have been lost sheep;
their shepherds have led them astray
and caused them to roam on the mountains.
They wandered over mountain and hill
and forgot their own resting place.

7 Whoever found them devoured them;
their enemies said, 'We are not guilty,
for they sinned against the LORD, their true pasture,
the LORD, the hope of their fathers.'

1 comment:

  1. "Amazing Grace; How sweet the sound
    That saved a wretch like me;
    I once was lost, but now am found!
    Was blind, but now I see." ~ John Newton

    What a joy to be "found" by the Great Shepherd who so lovingly cares for His sheep!