Six-year-old Lucy Mangum was with her parents and
sister at Ocrakoke Beach on the Outer Banks of North
Carolina on July 19 when suddenly she was attacked by
a shark. She was playing on a boogie board in only 18
inches of water when the shark came toward her. Lucy
told WRAL.com that she tried to swim away when she saw
the shark coming toward her, but the shark was too
fast. The shark grabbed her right leg and foot within
seconds, leaving two deep bite marks that exposed her
tendons and muscle.
Jordan Mangum, Lucy’s mother, said, “I heard her
scram, and I turned and immediately saw the shark.”
She ran toward Lucy, followed closely by Craig Mangum,
Lucy’s father, snatched her up and got her to the
Lucy’s parents said she remained remarkably calm as
they got her out of the water onto the beach, but said
she was asking questions like: “Am I going to die? Am
I going to walk? Am I going to have a wheelchair?”
Lucy’s parents assured her that she was going to be
okay even though Craig, an emergency room physician
observed that the injuries were pretty severe.
Emergency crews flew Lucy to Pitt County Memorial
Her surgeon said she was within a
fraction of a millimeter of having her nerve severed,
which would have meant amputation. Ninety percent of
her muscle was severed, as well as 90 percent of her
Achilles' tendon, and one of the main arteries in her
leg was severed.
later underwent two surgeries and is expected to make
a full recovery.
But while they were still on the beach,
Lucy had another question: “Dad,
can we say a prayer?” Jordan told the WRAL reporters,
“We said a prayer for her on the beach.
Her faith and stoicism were a marvel to us.”
then there’s yet another marvel…
This brave little six-year-old from Durham, North
Carolina who survived a shark attack says she FORGIVES
the shark that did it!
How could she forgive that shark? Perhaps it’s
because of her parents’ gentle instruction about how
sharks look for food along the beach in the late
Or perhaps it is because of what she may have learned
about God, who forgives US when we sin against Him.
was Jesus who suffered the vicious attacks of an angry
mob as He hung on a cross outside Jerusalem. Yet,
it was for the sins of the world – including yours and
mine – that He was put on that cross.
The only way
that God could save us was
for Jesus, the sinless Son of God, to pay the
price for our sins through His atoning death on the
cross (1 John 2:2). He died so that you and I might
have forgiveness for our sins and the hope of eternal
life (Ephesians 1:7; Titus 3:7).
can know this forgiveness and hope when: we place
and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from our sins
Him before others (Romans 10:9-10), and are
(immersed) into Christ (Acts 2:38; 22:16).
Forgiveness in the wake of a shark attack – what a
marvel that further endears little Lucy to all of us!
May her actions remind us of how much Jesus loves us
as He gave His life for us on the cruel cross, and may
His marvelous love compel us to accept His forgiveness
on His terms.
David A. Sargent,
Church of Christ at Creekwood
1901 Schillinger Rd. S.
Mobile, Alabama 36695
* Information gleaned from WRAL.com of
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