A little one was abducted.
Tracking dogs, federal agents and amber alerts howled in the night. A press conference unfolded and, before noon, ninety degree temperatures greeted search teams. Keeping workers hydrated became an industrial undertaking.
Three foot long coolers began appearing, filled with ice and beverages. Grateful officers battled heat while they searched, but day turned to night and night to another day. The coolers were less frequented and hopes for the two year old's recovery dwindled. As despair crouched, the words of Jesus crooned.
And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.~ Matthew 10:42
Though officers, sheriff's deputies and state troopers searched for Wynter Cole Smith, they needed sleep. Fresher workers arrived, heard updates and picked up where their colleagues left off. They departed in a single file.
They walked past a phalanx of refrigerator sized containers, piled for their comfort. Ice, drinks and energy snacks awaited, yet officer after officer walked past the coolers without partaking. Maybe the specter of another fruitless search, or the pile of unanswered questions, made them ignore the treats. Sitting on one of the containers, I began handing out the resources. Bottles, previously ignored, became bridges for encouragement. With refreshment came smiles and greetings. A few of the officers stopped to talk. Conversations turned to the difficulties of the day. I read Psalm 23 over the willing and many bowed for prayer.
Placing a hand on the otherwise ignored bottles, and looking into people's eyes, seemed to make a difference. Encouragement, during a tough week, may have nudged officers closer to self-care. Hydration helps.
Talking about the unspeakable helps. The Word of the Lord reminds that God sees and cares.
If passing out of water, lending an ear or reading the Word is all we can do, may our work be as unto the Lord.
May the Lord strengthen the family of Wynter Cole Smith.