Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Game( 12/06/12)
Miracle on the Savannah
By Claudia Thomason
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They were talking about a baby giraffe, tucked away in the shadows of acacia trees, alone and frightened. We knew his mother wasn’t close because as we drove around the game preserve after dinner, we hadn’t seen any giraffes. Charlie thought the baby was about two weeks old. He was six feet tall, and from inside our modified van, we looked almost directly into his huge brown eyes.
The men knew better than to respond to Judy. Their position sounded insensitive even to them. Any further discussion couldn’t possibly end well. “Clearly,” Judy said authoratively, “he will survive if we help him. We are duty bound to intervene.” No one was quite sure what made us duty bound, but we women agreed with her immediately.
I glanced toward the horizon. The setting sun gave the savannah an orange hue. Dusk descended over Masai Mara Game Preserve, throwing shadows that could hold nothing good for this baby. In the stillness we could hear sounds of elephants trumpeting. Occasionally a roar from a large cat would roll through the hills somewhere far away. Scanning the savannah, we hoped to see his mother coming for him.
Mandy asked Charlie if the mother had been killed. Conversing with other van drivers in Swahili over their two-way radios, Charlie learned there were no giraffe killings today. They speculated that she wandered away from him. A seasoned game park guide, Charlie had seen this scenario many times. He knew how his missionary passengers would respond to that baby. We didn’t disappoint him.
Charlie laughed as the women tried to interrupt a survival ritual common among predators and victims for centuries. Wisely he said, “If you get out of the van, you be killed by a lion. The lion will then kill him. You can do more for him by leaving him alone.” Charlie was right. It was probable the baby would die through the night from an attack by a lion, leopard or even hyenas as they foraged for sustenance for their own babies. He didn’t have much of a chance.
“Wait!” Judy shouted. “What’s wrong with us? We just came from several African villages where we had enough faith to pray for the sick to be healed and for the poor to have their needs met.” Talking quickly, she barely stopped for a breath. “We believe for rain in a drought, and we believe for safety in storms. We believe that nothing is impossible with God, right?” “Right,” we answered with slightly less enthusiasm. Then she gave everyone instructions. “Tonight, we will pray he is hidden from predators’ eyes, his mother finds him quickly, and tomorrow we will see them together.”
Knowing there was nothing else to do, we agreed. The van turned from the baby and headed toward the lodge. Up early the next day we were anxious to reach the open savannah, not knowing what to expect. Soon Charlie’s radio began crackling with excited Swahili voices. He turned the van around and drove quickly to a watering hole. Without warning he hit the brakes. “Look!” he shouted. Standing among a small group of adult giraffes was the baby giraffe, easily identified by Charlie as “our” baby. He was safe with his mother. He made it through the night against all earthly odds. We had no doubt the baby was divinely protected. His safety became the last amazing event of this trip, already full of amazing events.
That incident happened a number of years ago. Even now when two or three from our group get together, we reminisce about that story. We comment again on God’s goodness, answering prayers for a frightened baby giraffe lost in the darkness that African night.
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