Thursday, June 10, 2010

Praying for Abby

As a father, and maybe just as a caring person, I am a little distraught by the current situation of young Abby Sunderland. Abby is a 16 year old girl who was attempting to be the youngest to circumnavigate the globe in her sailboat, Wild Eyes. I say was because maintenance issues forced her to miss that hurdle, but she continued on anyway. Now, her two manually activated emergency beacons have gone off while in the remote southern Indian Ocean just a few hours ago. Hearteningly, her automatic beacon has not activated, leaving hope the boat is upright and she may yet be safe. We don't know, and because of her remoteness help is 40 hours away and communication via radio is 11 hours away.

Having just returned from the wedding of my oldest daughter, I have been catching up on a lot of work here and that includes computer work--I've been falling behind on my blog too. Anyway, home page MSN just splashed a story about Abby, and searching a link I found myself in an article about the latest trend in young people doing very dangerous things with their parents' permission, like that 13 year old who scaled Mt Everest. The slant of the article was "what were they thinking?" I felt the same way, it got me angry--this business of wanting your children to "realize their dreams" and somehow placing that above common sense.

Hey, when I got back here from the New York wedding I found that my 11-year old stepson had finagled a 3-inch blade Buck Knife for his birthday by purchasing it with his own money--that thing is now in my possession. He has wanted a pocket/hunting knife for a long time but er, uh, HELL NO. What is an 11 year old doing with a "hunting knife" here in suburbia? Why does a 13-year old need to climb Mt Everest, a path which, last I heard, is still littered with 3 frozen corpses?

Anyway, here I was hating on permissive parenting while clicking on another link, this one Abby's on-scene blog via satellite link, and guess what? She uses Blogger, and among all the many choices available, her blog looks identical to mine, The Truth Eludes Us. Same colors, layout, background, etc. It was a shock that brought me back to earth and one simple sentiment--please God, bring her in safely. I don't care anymore what her parents were thinking--they are terrified but hopeful, and whatever their reasons for supporting this endeavor, it just doesn't matter anymore. All that matters is that Abby be found safe.

While I am not the devotee I once was to organized religion, I still suspect there's a Big Guy who sort of manages things according to His own inscrutable rules. I don't pray as much to Him as I used to, and now when I do mostly it's a quiet thing wherein I close my eyes and think it. But I am not averse to humbly asking Him to watch over the young and naive, the helpless and the hopeless, or the lost souls of the Modern Age. And maybe intervene once in a while, as I feel sure He sometimes does. Please Father, help this child. Amen.