It was an interesting day yesterday. We were at the beach enjoying the waves, sun and sand. The red flag was flying when we arrived, so we knew we needed to be careful.
Winston, my brother in law, and I were looking at the waves and the people swimming. Suddenly, we noticed a lady on a small floating air bed struggling. A girl, the moms daughter about 11 years old, was on a small kick-board attempting to help her mom back to shore. They were stuck.
We talked about the situation, and decided to wait a minute to see if they could break free. When it was obviously a no go, we both ran into the water. Winston ran further down the beach and swam straight to the lady. When I approached the area from the right I could feel the undertow pulling me out, I instantly swam a little right toward shore to get out of the current before I was overpowered.
When I reached a place I could walk I moved toward two kids that were obviously heading out toward danger. Both were non swimmers barely able to touch bottom and they were being pulled out further from shore into the rip, so I said ‘grab my hand’, I pulled one closer to shore and went back for the other kid and also pulled him closer to shore and handed him over to his German non English speaking granddad, who sadly did not have a clue the kids were in danger and what was going on. I shouted, “Keep them out of this section and close to shore.”
Meantime Winston was with the mom and child, they were in distress. The mom had swallowed a lot of water and was very tired from trying to kick herself free of the current. He calmed her down and encouraged her to relax, lay on her back and allow the raft to keep her head above water. He kept assuring her he’d stay and that they would be ok. He also, told the young girl to use her flippers and paddle to shore.
It was evident they were stuck in the very unusual rip, it was stationary, not going out like normal. He was kicking right, left, forward, backward, with no movement. It became obvious he needed more help. So I swam to shore, then ran and grabbed my phone and called 911.
I also notice a guy who popped on the scene standing on a large beginners paddle-board and shouted and pointed to Winston and the mom. He paddled over and all three clung to his board. By this time the lifeguards arrived, ran, dived in, and swam to the people in distress. All were pulled safely to shore and the mom and daughter reunited. A lot of thank you’s ensued.
This scene happened very quickly, and lasted probably a little less than 15 minutes.
Why didn’t other people notice?
Why didn’t they move to help?
Why did they sit still and view the drama?
There a psychological profile about this. Seems few are wired to be responders. Those who do respond in such situations usually have some sort of training, or experience in their past that pushes them forward. Winston was and is an accomplished swimmer and was a surfer in his 20’s living much of his life near the water.
Others are wired more passively.
During my self defense training there are four profile stages:
Guess where most people live? Most people live in the unaware state, living life drifting on an ocean of routine.
One teacher in Kettering was abducted because she was text-ting while walking to her car. Once in the car she continued to text. The guy simply jerked open her door, jumped in the drivers side, pushed her into the passenger seat, and took off with the terrified lady. She screamed and opened the passenger side door. The guy ended up wrecking the car, escaped and was later apprehended. She was not practicing awareness. If she had been looking around as she walked to her car and then locked the doors as soon as she sat down the incident would have been adverted. Now she lives with the trauma of the incident.
On a spiritual side, the rescue made me think of all the people in my sphere of influence who are drifting, and are in danger. The ocean we call life is flowing, some are caught in it’s negative current and need to be rescued.
As in this case they are stuck and in danger of perishing.
They are living in an unaware state. One day, unless reached, they will perish.
This incident certainly encouraged me to continue to seek and to save those who away from God’s presence.
The reason we were able to help was because of our training, having a willingness to act, and to take a risk to help someone in distress.
Life in the Kingdom is really about learning to live in God’s space where God things happen.
Every believer should practice being aware and noticing the unnoticeable.
I’m glad God has graciously given me the eyes to see, and a heart that seeks to understand. I’m working on responding.