Saturday, August 9, 2008

WALKING BUDDIES: Part 7 - Noah's Ark II - August 9, 2008

Imagine that you are eleven years old, and you are passionate about animals—all kinds of animals, but especially monkeys. You idolize the Crocodile Hunter and you want to be just like Steve Irwin when you grow up. You devour every book that you can find about animals and become a zoological encyclopedia.

Loving animals as you do, you are eager to become a zoo volunteer. In just a few weeks, you’ll turn twelve and will be old enough to achieve this dream. What might a twelve-year-old volunteer do at the zoo? Well, you will start at the bottom, of course, cleaning up after the animals. You don’t really mind, you’ll do whatever it takes to get yourself around all those fascinating creatures. Working at the zoo is an important step toward achieving your long-term goals.

You study very hard and science is your favorite subject. Once you graduate from high school, you plan to go to college and major in zoology. Then you will become a zoologist, all the while, dreaming your biggest dream: your dream of dreams. Someday you will own your very own zoo, which you will call “Noah’s Ark II.” The original ark housed two of every kind of creature, but since your ark is Noah’s Ark II, you’re going to double the population and have four of every animal. This is a lofty dream, but it is your dream. What a wonderful dream for a child your age!

This is, in fact, the dream of eleven-year-old Logan Greene, of Willington, Tennessee. Logan and I share a similar passion for God’s creatures and the natural world. We both loved the Crocodile Hunter. Logan and I have one more thing in common: we are related…

On July 18th, Logan had an experience that no child should ever have to go through. After work and a late dinner out, Logan’s mom, Lisa Teeple, Logan, and his ten-year-old sister, Lexie, stopped at Wal-Mart on their way home, to pick up milk and dog food. After getting back in their truck with their purchases, Logan and his family witnessed a carjacking. A man with a gun approached the vehicle parked catty-corner to Lisa’s truck. Logan was in the front passenger seat and was the closest to the gunman. As they watched, horrified, the man opened the door of the other vehicle and, at gunpoint, pulled a woman out onto the parking lot. Her son was also in the vehicle. The gunman climbed into the vehicle and drove off.

Logan has been asthmatic for years, but his condition was under control, so much so, that he was quite active in several sports. However, on the evening of July 18th, the stress of witnessing a violent crime triggered an unusually severe attack. So severe, in fact, that Logan—just a few weeks shy of his 12th birthday—did not survive. Before medical help arrived, his throat and bronchial tubes swelled to the point that it was impossible to intubate.

You can imagine the shock and grief that reverberates throughout the Greene and Teeple families, at Logan’s school, among his many friends, within the community and church, and among the many medical personnel who attended to Logan and his family. In response, God’s love has been personified a hundredfold in the caring acts of family and friends, and a multitude of strangers. In their hometown, individuals, businesses, organizations, you name it, have enfolded Logan’s family in God’s comforting arms.

This precious boy, Logan, loved and cared for all of God’s creation. While he will never have the opportunity to realize his dreams for Noah’s Ark II, Logan walks with God, now and forever.


Logan’s death was an unnecessary and avoidable tragedy, an unexpected repercussion of someone’s selfish act. While I don’t set out to hurt people, I know that I am quite capable of acting selfishly, without thought for how my actions impact others, least of all, those who I can’t see or imagine. I pray for peripheral vision of the heart, so I can see and bless the innocent bystanders witnessing me unawares.

In loving memory of Logan, God’s—and Noah’s—
zookeeper walking-buddy.

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