Friday, April 18, 2008

Punch in the Stomach

When I was a kid my brother and sisters and I went to visit our cousin one afternoon. It was only about a mile down the road and it was a special event because we only got to visit them occasionally when we were at our getaway cabin for the weekend. It was a beautiful afternoon and we decided to play softball. All of a sudden I felt the bat connect with my stomach. It was a take-your-breath-away-for-several-minutes kind of punch in the stomach. I keeled over in pain and unable to get any air. Fortunately it only lasted a few minutes. I soon recovered and no damage had been done. Fortunately, the bat hit me square in the stomach and not where there were any bones that could have been broken.

I was just thinking how much like life this incident was. We've all experienced that punch in the stomach that totally takes ones breath away! It may have been the unexpected diagnosis of a terminal illness, perhaps it was the accidental death of a loved one, maybe the death of a child. It may have been the discovery that your spouse has been unfaithful, or the sudden announcement that your spouse was leaving. As a nation, the attack on 9-11, the flooding of New Orleans and many other similar disasters were that punch in the stomach.

That punch in the stomach for us came in the form of a phone call on the Monday evening after the Thanksgiving weekend of 1999. It was our son John's boss calling from Hawaii. John had gone on a hike in the Kohala Mountains in the northeastern part of the Big Island with the intent of hiking across the mountains and valleys from north to south over the 4 day holiday. He had not returned in time for work on Monday. There wasn't much to worry about because the hike was very ambitious to complete in 4 days. And there had been unusually heavy rains in that area over the weekend.

But the news sent us to our knees. Where was our son? Find out the rest of the story in our newly released e-book Where There is Hope.
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