Carlos Lopez heard a familiar voice saying something unfamiliar. «Help!» The call echoed from downriver. «Help!»
It was Mother. She was in big trouble. Ten-year-old Carlos summed up the situation quickly. He and his family had been tubing down the broad, deep American River west of Sacramento, California. The sun was warm, and the water felt cool and inviting. Carlos and younger sister Lydia enjoyed the sparkling tickles of the ripples against their skin, always being careful not to float too far from shore where the water ran faster. But apparently Mother had swum out by mistake, and the swift current now carried her straight toward the dangerous rapids farther downstream. Father was too far away to hear his wife’s frantic calls.
«Lydia, throw me the big inner tube!» Carlos ordered. Then he began swimming out in the river. He’d learned to swim at an early age, but had never been in such dangerous waters before. When Mother saw him coming, she screamed, «No. Go back. Don’t drown with me.» But the boy kept moving toward her. Seeing how determined he was to save her, the woman took courage, found new strength from somewhere deep inside her aching body, and kicked against the swirling, tumbling rapids.
«Grab the tube, Mother!» Carlos shouted. She reached out and took hold. Together, exhausted mother and trembling son made their way back to shore.
Love is a very powerful motivator. «My son is and always will remain a hero in my heart,» Mrs. Lopez tells friends and family.
If you ever find yourself in spiritual trouble, remember you’ve got a hero racing to your rescue. His name is Jesus.