Two teen-aged girls walked along the icy shore of the just-beginning-to-thaw Michigan lake. They probably were talking about boys they liked or other girls in their class or their families or something ordinary to their lives. They both wore long midi-coats made of plaid wool (popular in the 70’s) and furry mittens and boots and hats. And they thought it was just an ordinary day as they walked and talked.
And it really was just that until they saw the large dog struggling to climb out of the hole he had made in the icy surface of the lake. The dog was a big chow, and he bobbed up and down in the water almost lifting his body onto the ice only to break through again and sink below the surface. The panic showed in his face, and his desperation was palpable.
Without much thought, one girl left the other and foolishly ran onto the fragile ice heading straight for the tiring dog. And, of course, seconds later she found herself over her head in the freezing water, her long, heavy coat weighing her down as now both she and the dog worked together to break a pathway to the shoreline. Bouncing off the lake’s bottom up to breathe and break ice and fall under again. Flailing woolen hands and wounded paws and pounding away the ice that finally gave way to make way for both the foolish girl and the frantic dog.
The friend who had remained frozen on the shore screamed to offer moral support or to summon help or just to voice her fear. But the girl couldn’t hear anything, but her own heart and her gasps and the splashing of the dog.
Today my pastor preached a good sermon reminding us of God’s faithfulness in the past and His promise for the future. And he prayed three prayers for our congregation:
1. An attentive faith that desires to see as God sees.
2. A passionate faith that seeks to honor God.
3. A courageous faith in the utter trustworthiness of God.
And I remembered that day on the lake. I wonder if I still have the eyes to see those who are perishing? Do I still have the passion to put their rescue first? Am I still courageous (or maybe foolish) enough to trust God with whatever task is given to me despite the risk to my safety? I suppose only time will tell.