CREDOS : Ocala ordeal — IV

Gently I rubbed his back. “If we close the door to faith, God can’t do his job. He can work with us only as our faith will allow.””We can’t go on without Joel and Eric, Mom,” he cried. “What are we going to do?” I held Tim and watched the moths circling the lamps. “God knows our needs, and I know he will be with our boys,” I told Tim. “He’ll keep you strong and give you the courage to get through this, if you’ll let him.”

Monday dawned with weather reports of rain and freezing temperatures. I couldn’t let myself think of the approaching cold or give up my vision of the two boys walking along a path. Meanwhile I watched rescue workers search Deerhaven Lake, not far from the campgrounds. Helicopters lifted to search and set down again with nothing. I struggled within myself. Were my faith and hope only a fairy tale?

The day wore on, the third of our ordeal. A sad quiet seemed to blanket everyone and everything. Tim and I walked along the edge of the moss-covered trees and rocks, where Joel and Eric must have gone days before. The sky clouded over. A cool breeze began to push at the trees, turning their leaves pale, an early sign of rain here in Florida. I slipped my arm around Tim’s waist for comfort. Again I tried to envision the boys on the path. As we returned to camp, we heard a man shouting happily from the rescue centre. People were cheering. “They found them!” someone yelled from behind. “They found the boys!” —