When the days slipped by and he lost hope of being freed, he carved his name, date of birth and the date he believed he would die in the canyon wall next to him. He videotaped what would be his last will and testament and last goodbyes to his parents in hopes that someone would eventually find his body and return the message to his family.
And then, the last night he spent in the canyon, he had a vision. The vision was a scene of himself, sitting on a living room floor, playing with a little blonde-haired boy. Though he wasn’t married and had no children, he somehow knew that little boy was his own son. And the immense love he instantly felt for his son gave him the courage to begin to free himself by cutting off his own arm.
Through intense pain, he cut through the skin and nerves and muscle all the way to the bone but then realized the knife was too dull to cut the bone. He would have to break his arm. And so, using some of the hiking gear, and the boulder as leverage, he broke the bones in his forearm, cut off the rest of the arm, and freed himself. As he walked the several miles back to his vehicle, he crossed paths with a couple who called authorities and he was rescued by helicopter.
During the interview, Aron spoke about the vision he had of the boy he knew was his son, and the fact that it was the deep love he felt for this child that gave him the courage to do what had to be done throughout his staggeringly painful ordeal. He said that there was nothing like the love between a parent and child. He knew he had to survive for his son.
As I listened to Aron, I couldn’t help but think of Christ and the fact that what kept Him held in the arms of His captors, what kept Him standing before Pilate, being sentenced by a mob to a cruel death even though He was innocent of any wrongdoing, and what kept Him held to the cross despite unbearable pain, was His love for us.
Have courage, my dear friends, we are loved by the King!
“let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”