A few years ago, my family all went to Disney World during the fall. The day we were at Hollywood Studios, we were all walking from one side of the park to another in order to get in line for the next ride. There were about 15 of us in all and we were walking through the big, open part near the front of the park in a long line of two's and three's, rushing to our destination. I saw him as I noticed a few in front of me turn their heads and look down. There was a little boy, no older than three maybe, walking aimlessly through the expanse of this area. People were everywhere, but we could see him, face full of tears and snot, walking and crying, desperate and exhausted. I stopped and everyone turned back as the realization of what we were seeing began to sink in. This sweet boy had lost his family and was reaching the end of himself.
I picked him up and held him and immediately he melted into my arms. He couldn’t talk yet, so we had no way of helping him other than getting security involved and letting Disney do what they do. Another family member suggested we prop him up high in case someone was looking for him and maybe they could find him in the crowd. My husband hoisted him up on his shoulders and the little boy laid his head on my husband’s head and was just done; out of energy; out of fight; resting in this strange adult’s arms. We kept reassuring him that we were going to find his parents and that he was safe. The Disney employees have a system for letting the whole park know they have found a child and then if the parents have reported him missing, they can connect them. Pretty soon, they heard back that the mother was headed there to get the boy. When his mom arrived, she eagerly grabbed the boy and hugged him and held him. He was so emotionally exhausted that he barely even reacted and just continued to cling and rest, this time on his own mother.
This scene of this little guy, running sluggishly through the park at Disney with desperation and hopelessness gets me emotional every sing time I think about it.
The memory came back up today during my quiet time and so I stopped to reflect on why it makes me so emotional. I think part of it is just my mother instinct that is a nurturer and I think about him being one of my boys.
I think a deeper part is that I can feel like that little boy at times. I have an orphan spirit that has felt abandonment and loneliness. I feel I am symbolically, at times, running through an amusement park, tiring out, with snot dripping down, desperate for connection and safety. I can get past desperate, where I don’t even know where to run anymore, so I just run aimlessly, helpless and hopeless. I am in need of a rescue. I am at the end of myself.
Just then, at my most desperate point at times, my rescuer comes. A Savior who sees me in my brokenness and find me completely undone. My savior picks me up and holds me. It is a place I have to choose to rest in, yet I’m at the place where no other choice is even a choice. I rest my weight in Him and give up. And this is where the true rescue takes place. I am no longer an orphan. I am no longer abandoned. I am His. I am found. I can rest.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” - Matthew 11:28