Last weekend we went with two other families to Lake Superior. We have made this trip several times and it is always looked forward to. The area we go offers hiking trails with beautiful waterfalls. At our first stop, one of the dads wanted to cliff jump into the bottom of a waterfall. Although I have never done this it is pretty common for people to do this.
After hours of jumping it was time to go. Our daughter Megan was at the top of the cliff and jumped one last jump to get to shore. After she popped up from her leap, she got caught by the current going where she did not want to go. All on shore were yelling but helpless to do anything.
She ended up caught in an undercurrent pulling her down. She was right next to a rock but the water had worked it so smooth that she could not find anything to grab onto. As she tumbled helplessly under the water she hoped those above knew she was in trouble.
Meanwhile I was running and yelling, “She is under too long, help her!”
Our son who was closest tried to help Megan by laying on the rock above her and reaching down. But, before he knew what had happened he too was pulled into the downward current of the water. On his way down J.T. managed to pushed his sister sideways just enough to get her out of the downward pull and into the current going down stream.
As she popped up there was great relief. BUT JT was still under and stories of the rescuer drowning were already running through my mind. “Lloorrdd” was I all I could utter.
Soon JT popped up and managed to pull himself up onto the rock. Both my children were safe!! That was too close. That was too scary.
Afterwards, JT told us he had been pulled down, down, down but had never touched bottom. He does not recall how he got out. All this mom can say is, “Thank You, Jesus, thank You, thank You.”
Too often there are families that go out to make a memory and come back with one less family member, that could have been us. Yesterday, I went to the funeral of a friend’s thirty-six year old son. Life is hard. My heart is aching in a new way for all these mourning families, I pray for God’s mercy to uphold them.
I don’t know why we were spared the heart ache, but I am changed, I have new compassion and a renewed thankfulness for every moment we have together as a family.