In a dark period of my life, when I was doing some things to get by that I was not proud of, a friend told me that nobody would like to be judged by their worst moments. Yet I have always believed that how we behave in our worst moments indeed says something about our heart, about our make-up. In some ways, our actions in these moments can reveal what is at our core. The following incident is one that occurred about 4 or 5 years ago, but has always haunted me. I just never can escape shuddering whenever the memory of this event crosses my mind.
Two ladies in my church small group took a trip down to the Outer Banks of North Carolina for a weekend beach get-away. One lady traveled with her husband and three young children. The other was a young single woman who was plus size and not what you would call athletic. There are signs posted all along the beaches on the Outer Banks warning that just a short way out into the water, powerful rip currents are present. These currents can subtly and insidiously pull you away from shore. Folks not paying attention might not recognize their predicament until they are in great peril. When they try to make it back to the sandy beach, they find that the currents simply pull them along parallel to the shore. They swim and swim until, eventually, they run out of strength and go under. This grim scenario results in multiple drowning deaths each summer.
In the case with the folks from my old small group, the adults were sitting together on the beach chatting and passing the time in a relaxed manner. The three young kids were playing in the surf and unbeknownst to them, the currents were playing their wicked game. Before they realized what was going on, they found themselves a long way from shore and could not get back in. They began to panic and scream for help as their strength began to ebb. Never trained to swim, in water well over their heads, and at the mercy of the strong currents, they didn't have too much time left before they became fodder for the evening news.
To be continued ...
(Part 1 of 2)