One Small Child
February 7, 2019
There is a little boy whose name is Casey. He is barely three years old. One cold clear day he was out playing in his grandmother’s back yard near the woods with older cousins who, either got cold or tired, and decided to go inside. We don’t know the details, but we do know that the little boy did not go inside with the others. Grandmother was worried when, after calling and calling him, she could not find him. She called the police to help search.
And search they did. For about three days, S.B.I, F.B.I. and all kinds of local people looked and looked and could not find Casey. Temperatures dropped and rain came still they searched. Just before hope began to wane, a woman walking her dog heard a tiny voice calling, “Mama.”
Casey was found tangled in vines and thorny brambles that grow in the woods of Craven County. After a long three days, he was found alive. Thanksgiving, relief, joy abounded in the finding of one small child. He was reunited with his grateful family and taken to receive medical care for his scratches.
It was at the hospital that a remarkable story was told by little Casey. He told everyone that while he was lost in the woods, a bear came to take care of him. A bear. Black bears abound in the woods of Craven County, and many other counties in North Carolina. New Bern’s iconic mascot is the black bear - as clearly seen from Highway 70 when you pass through town. It is not improbable that bears were around Casey in the woods.
What the little boy related, however, is more a story of miracle and mystery that henceforth will become fable and the truth of myth. Casey’s story will be told and told and heard and heard with acceptance and gratitude along with skepticism and question. What is true? What is real?
Miracles are documented across history. No, they don’t happen in every missing child incidence. That does not mean that miracle giving is the work of a capricious God. Nor does it mean that little Casey was loved any more than any other child of the world. Rather this miracle is a reminder that God is still with us, and will send angels to care for us when we are lost in the woods. God shows up in all shapes and sizes and people and creatures to remind us that all is well. Even in the darkest hour, in the scariest times, when all around seems very lost, God is here. Casey’s story is a reminder of that.