We were having a game drive in Africa with guests of Amathunzi. All of sudden we spotted a lone zebra walking with another antelope. They were isolated in a large valley away from other groups of animals. I thought that seems odd.
He had been named by the managers of the farm teenager. He was kicked out of the dazzle (herd) by the father only a week or so earlier. A new baby had been born and he was no longer the center of attention. In fact his presence in the group was a hazard to the little one.
Teenager was looking for anyone who would focus on him and potentially give the consideration he desired. It amazed me that he stopped and looked at us. Then missionary Rolf Weichardt got out of the vehicle and walked in the direction of teenager. He began walking to Rolf. He didn’t seem to shy away or have any fear of a human.
He walked right up to him and touched his hand. No snorting or fearful gestures were displayed. He genuinely wanted contact. You could tell that the removal from the dazzle had been painful and potentially confusing.
I thought of the many people we have encountered during our ministry years who expressed some of the same desires displayed by this young zebra. It was amazing that when he finished inspecting Rolf he began a walk toward me and the vehicle. I was taking pictures and he took notice. He came all the way to the land rover and reached up to touch my hand.
We had a close moment that reminded me of the same thing I had seen before. I had seen it in the eyes of many teenagers in my ministry years. Young people were yearning for an adult to look them in the eye. They wanted some focused attention. They wanted an appropriate touch that said they were ok.
I have found that is true of everyone. Have you looked your spouse or children in the eyes today? Have you provided them some focused attention? Have you given them a hug? Everyone wants to feel loved by someone. Don’t miss your opportunities that are all around you.
Four decade veteran of youth ministry in churches, Youth For Christ and now is the Founder and Executive Director of Deeper Still Missions. Danny and his wife Cathy spend most of their time mentoring missionaries in Africa, Europe, Central America and North America. Future opportunities include South America and the Asia Pacific area.