They blew by me like I was standing still. Two Massachusetts State Police cars traveling in excess of 90 miles an hour with no lights flashing. I was on I-495 north of Chelmsford, Massachusetts, on a Friday break from my college studies. The purpose of my travels was to surprise my grandparents with a visit; they lived in Andover, Massachusetts.
It was a beautiful day. Spring was giving way to summer and it was showcasing the thick foliage of the trees in the strip of forest that ran between the north and southbound lanes. The foliage as I was to find out would play a significant part in this story. I remember thinking two things as the police cars sped by, “How unusual to be traveling so fast with no emergency lights, and who was the lone person in the back of the second cruiser? Did a prisoner require that much attention? I didn’t have to wait long for an answer. A mile up the road, I saw the two police cars come to a skidding halt in the left breakdown lane. The man in the backseat did something odd. As they stopped alongside an unmarked wooded area, the man in the rear of the car leaned over from his spot in the right. Laying down on the seat, he quickly opened the door and started waving his hand as if to prompt a “come on”. As I was pulling alongside this unfolding scene, I caught something out of the corner of my eye. It was the face of a little girl about eight years of age running out of the woods swiftly as if her life depended on it. The look of fear was etched on her face. As the door opened, without breaking stride she dove head first into the backseat. Then before the door was even closed, the police cars accelerated at an unbelievable high rate of speed and passed me yet again faster than they did before. In moments they were out of sight.
The drama of the moment had me asking many questions. How did the little girl get in this particular wooded area? How did the police know exactly where to pick her up? Was this a kidnapping rescue? My curiosity got the better of me. I scoured the Boston Globe and area papers for several days afterwards and not one peep was ever mentioned about this incident. It has been over 30 years since that day and I have reconciled I will never know the answer.
Throughout life there are incidents that prompt us to ask why. Why did I lose my job? Why was my loved one taken from me so soon? Why have I never found the person of my dreams? We all have many of the same questions, yet seldom is our answer forthcoming. In fact, many of us will live our complete lives never getting the answers to our questions.
Over the years I have spent a lot of time trying to fill in the missing blanks of the little girl in the woods. Sometimes I’ve painted a beautiful ending yet other times I’ve imagined a painful conclusion. Yet each time I expend energy on this unfinished story, I have pangs of guilt, I know I’m wasting my time. The only one who truly knows the answer to this story is not talking, and that’s God.
When it comes to unanswered questions in life, I find solace in the Good Book. I Peter 5:6-7 says it best, “Humble yourself, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” Considering the state of world affairs and life’s lingering questions that plague me, I can’t help believe “His due time” can’t be very far off.