Watching the Drowning Man
Sometimes it’s tough living in this world. On the surface, everything appears fine; there doesn’t seem to be any problem at all, but I know people are drowning all around me. I’m on a boat, you see. I need not worry about the storms of this life, nor my passage into the next any longer. It’s hard to enjoy that truth past the cries of the dying.
These cries aren’t the literal screams of people drowning in the Atlantic, nor people threatened with a gun. This death the people around me are dying is much worse, and the cries are more subtle. I hear them in the raucous nightlife as I walk down College Street late on a Friday; I see that dying in the dull gazes cast my way by a man simply trying to discover escape in alcohol. I hear these cries for help in the arguments of politics; people are just seeking something to improve, something in which to hope. I hear the cry of death in the bitter laugh of my classmate as he tells me he’s just here at college, so that he doesn’t have to be at home.
I hear all these people drowning, crying out for help, though they don’t know their own peril, and I want to help. I want to scream at them, telling them of this boat that carries me. I want to drag them, kicking and screaming if I must, into this safety, this salvation. But I can’t. I can’t save people.
I am not a hand, reaching out to pluck souls from the fires of destruction. I can call nobody to repent of my own accord. It’s hard. It’s heartbreaking. Somehow, it’s better this way.
Does not He who built the boat know best with whom to fill it. Can not the Master Craftsman best decide which tools to use to rescue which people. That’s all I am, you see, a tool. My pride tells me that I am an individual with free will and the ability to make a difference in this world on my own strength, but I am nothing outside of the hands of my maker.
If God uses me, throws me as a lifesaving buoy to bring somebody into this salvation, all glory to God. If, as we sail by, I must watch those last bubbles come to the surface as a dying man makes a last desperate struggle, still, through my tears, glory to God.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.