The sun beat down mercilessly, as there was not a cloud in the sky to hinder the penetrating heat. The waves lapped the shore, and the leaves of the tall palm trees quivered only lightly. Hardly a breeze was to be felt on this hidden shore on an island of Hawaii.
Not far from this shore was sheltered a small village in which lived many native Hawaiians. Some of the houses in the village were thatch-roofed, while others were more modern houses on stilts. Well-worn dirt trails led in, around, and towards every house and hut in the village. Children played all over, dogs were yapping and stray cats mingled in the scene. Woman bustled about, working at looms, carrying water, or simply chatting with a friend.
Out of one of the small thatch-roofed huts came a young girl, carrying a simple bag containing some food and water. Her tough, leathery feet were well used to the scorch of the white sand on the beach, towards which she was walking. Her strong arms and legs were dark with sun and her hair were naturally sun bleached. With every bit of girl-like grace, she still was the girl who loved going out canoeing. It was the thing she loved doing best whenever she could. A pure Hawaiian, she was born for the waves and the wind.
Having decided to go on a small picnic all by herself on a small island nearby, she had prepared herself with a light lunch and some fresh water for her special time out. She stepped into her canoe and deftly began paddling towards the island.
The ocean breeze caught up her hair in a beautiful frenzy, twisting and blowing it around. The hot sunshine warmed Gemini’s cheeks and gave her a flushed appearance, and small beads of perspiration rolled from her forehead as she strove toward the island. Gemini, a girl of seventeen years of age, wanted this time out to think. There had been a man in her village talking about Jesus Christ and salvation that He brought. On this day in particular, the man had talked about Jesus protecting and helping His children.
Gemini felt very moved by the wonderful teachings of this strange man, but she had not yet come to the point of confessing her faith in the true God. She felt she needed to first think this through before making such a major decision. 'I can not be a Christian until I know for certain I will forever be one. I cannot be half-hearted in it, I don’t want to. Whatever god I serve, I will do it whole-heartedly,' thought Gemini with a very serious look on her usually smiling face.
The man had said God protects His children whom He loves. 'Would you love me, oh God? Did Jesus die for me too? Would you take me as your own and forgive me if I believed and confessed my faith in you?' Gemini felt troubled about this, for she felt she didn’t deserve it even though she didn’t think she was too bad a person. Plus, how could she know for certain that this was the truth?
With time, Gemini reached the shore of the tiny empty island. On this island stood a large grove of coconut trees against a background of gleaming white sand. Gemini pulled the canoe up the shore and took out her lunch bag.
Gemini climbed one of the coconut trees and took of several of the palm branches with a knife she kept on this island. She threw those down and also chopped off two coconuts. Climbing down the tree again, she noted that a few clouds in the distance had shown up. 'I hope no storm comes up,' she hoped almost sub-consciously.
Spreading out the palm leaves; she sat down on them and unpacked her lunch. Her mind went back to Jesus Christ again. 'Are you real God? I wonder if the man is right. I wonder if this is what would fulfill me. I long to worship something, somebody! Perhaps this man’s God is the one true God. Do I have anything to lose by trusting Him? If He is real and everything the man says true about Him, then I would even gain by believing in Him! I’d go to heaven and live in paradise! And if it’s true and I don’t believe in Him, then I’d… go to hell! Oh no! I’d rather not take the chance!' Her thoughts went on and on and around in circles.
“Do I believe in God?” Gemini asked aloud. 'I know that I’m beginning to fear hell. I love God – if He’s really God – and I’m scared to disobey His commandments. I can see God has done some awesome things in the strange man’s life, and that man has told many things that are almost too wonderful for me to believe. If those things are true, then God is truly trustworthy and –' “That must mean I really do believe in God!” Gemini exclaimed.
“I think I believe in God,” Gemini repeated softly, caressing the thought reverently. Perhaps God truly did love. What bliss at the thought. If she would make the decision to give her life to God, she knew her parents would be terrified and perhaps almost disown her. 'No, I don’t think diversity in religion would reduce their love for me,' Gemini reasoned hopefully. She was their only child and they loved her dearly, but they had warned her repeatedly not to “fall into that crazy man’s trap.”
Gemini was startled when she saw that darkness hovered over the island now, as billowing dark clouds blocked the sun’s view of the earth. A wind was beginning to blow steadily and the palm trees swayed back and forth. She had not noticed that the clouds in the distance had been a brewing storm. She’d been too far away in her thoughts. Jumping up, she seized her lunch bag and the knife she used on the coconuts and ran towards her canoe.
As she set out for home, she hoped to God she’d get there in time. She knew she couldn’t stay on the storm, because if the storm got violent, like usual, then the island would not be “wave-safe” and therefore it would be more dangerous to stay than to try to race the storm back to home shore. The clouds were sending out drizzles now, and an occasional lightning flash. Thunder rolled in the distance, and the waves rose higher and higher. Gemini was strong and could paddle well on the canoe, but it was really hard going against the wind.
“God, if You are truly there, then please help me get home safely!” She cried out in fear.
The canoe bobbed violently on the high waves, and Gemini feared for her life. The waves were continuing to rise higher. Suddenly, a giant wave rolled toward her helpless little canoe. Gemini screamed as she was thrown forward. She gasped in pain and realized her knife was lodged in her ankle. She cried out as she jerked it out. Blood gushed out rapidly and she had nothing but her own clothes to stop it. She tore off part of her skirt and frantically wrapped it about her wounded ankle. Gemini wept in fear. 'God! Will I die? Am I ready? I’m going to bleed to death or drown if you don’t stop this storm soon!'
Gemini jumped when a mighty thunder clapped right above her. Blood was still pouring from her ankle. She tore off another larger piece and wrapped it about her ankle as well. But the bleeding persisted. She cried out into the terror of the storm, “God! It’s no use! Just kill me quickly, for this pain is too great bear!” But the pain kept up, as did the bleeding. 'I might as well just let it bleed out. It’s no use tearing off my clothes for this wound if I’m anyway going to die. I might as well look decent for those who will find my dead body washed up on the beach.' She shuddered. “But God, I don’t think I’m ready to die! Please save me! I don’t want to die – not yet!”
Gemini screamed in sheer terror when she saw a monstrous wave come roaring towards her feeble canoe. In but a moment, she found herself thrashing about in cold sea water. She gasped for breath and searched about frantically for her canoe. Her ankle seared in burning pain as salty water soaked into her wound, and she screamed in pain.
She was so in panic that she failed to immediately notice the dorsal fins that were circling her in a big circle. When she saw them, she gasped in shock, “SHARKS!” Sharks were after good smelling blood, and her large open wound produced enough blood to draw sharks from miles away. “Oh God, don’t let them get me!” She moaned as she continued fighting to stay above water. “Please don’t let me die. Not by sharks!” Between gasps of breaths, she uttered in a whisper, “If you’re a Protector – then – then- show me you’re real! Save me!”
She screamed in fright when she felt a smooth, strong body come up under her. “No sharks! You can’t get me!” She kicked and screamed with all her might. But she stopped in wonder when she heard the soft squeal of a dolphin. “Dolphins?” she whispered in awe. “Thank you God, for sending this dolphin to save me.”
Soon a whole pod of dolphins were all around her, all squealing softly, as though a mother comforting a frightened child. She rested on top of the one under her, giving her rest from trying to stay above water. More dolphins surrounded her until there was a tight circle all around her from the bottom and around her. Hugging her arms tight around the dolphin underneath her, she wept softly out of thankfulness and awe and fear mingled together.
Gemini looked up and noticed four dolphins swimming towards the two sharks who were still circling her in slow circles. She could not really see through the rain and darkness to see everything that was going on, but she saw as much as that the dolphins seemed to be fighting off the sharks. She stared in wonder and amazement.
Large waves blocked the view most of the time, but Gemini continued gazing in the direction of the waning sight of the sharks and dolphins. The dolphins that were protecting her were swimming with her towards the direction of her home shore.
Lying on top of the strong dolphin, and surrounded by many more, she said softly, “Oh God, I believe in you now! I know now for sure that you truly protect your own, and that you love me. Only you could have told those dolphins to come. Oh God! Forgive my doubt! Forgive my many sins! I want to live for you from here on. I accept your gift of eternal life.”
Feelings of ecstasy rose up within her. From her inner being flowed rivers of joy and peace. At last her heart’s desire was fulfilled. God truly was real and she knew it. She could feel God all around her. Her joy was so intense, wells of praise rose up within her and she began to worship God in songs that she had never heard before. “Thank you God, my God!” She whispered softly. “Thank you so much!”
Freed spiritually, she realized that she now was swimming up the shore of her village. Her arms felt strong and revived and she swam up the shore without difficulty. The dolphins followed for a while, as if it see that she return home safely. She turned called “Thank you, oh dolphins, for saving me! And thank you for obeying God in coming to me when I most needed you!” As though they understood, each dolphin in turn swam toward her and nuzzled her lightly. Then they left for the deeps of the ocean again.
When she climbed up the beach she felt light headed and weak. Her leg was numb and white. She staggered into the village and called out “Help me! I’m bleeding!” Then she collapsed to the ground in unconsciousness for lack of blood.
Villagers poured out of their huts and ran to her aid. Her parents frantically tried to talk to her, but she didn’t respond. “Gemini!” cried her mother. “Talk to me! What happened?”
Someone screamed. “Look, her ankle is wounded!”
Gemini’s parents moaned in anguish. “Gemini, don’t die!” Somebody quick! Get some doctor or anybody who can help her!”
A doctor was sent for. But meanwhile, the missionary man came and prayed over Gemini, much to her parents’ displeasure.
The doctor came soon and worked on Gemini trying to revive her. He was able to stop her bleeding, but he said that perhaps she would be unconscious for a while because of lack of blood, and he warned that she might die. Gemini’s mother wept, and her father just stood dumbfounded.
The doctor gave instructions as how to treat her should she wake up. Then he left, saying there was another pressing case in another village. But the missionary man continued praying over her, and the people who were Christians joined him. Gemini’s father just stared disgustedly at the whole scene of praying Christians, but her mother wept uncontrollably.
Gemini moved and sighed as though in satisfaction. “Gemini’s waking up!” her mother exclaimed. A look of peacefulness and happiness was on Gemini’s lovely face. Her eyes fluttered open.
“Mother!” she gasped. “Father! I’m safe!” She breathed heavily for a while. She was trembling and pale. “I had the most beautiful dream! I saw Jesus. I was drowning in the ocean and then Jesus came and many angels! I rested on Jesus and the angels surrounded us so that the sharks could not attack me. And – And Jesus carried me all the way home to our seashore. He – He protected me! He – He and the angels protected me from these – these big fierce sharks!” Gemini sighed and relaxed in her mother’s arms.
“You dreamed about Jesus -?” Gemini’s mother whispered. Dreams, in this village’s religion, were very real and respected. Therefore it was unbelievable that Gemini had dreamed such a dream about Jesus. Gemini’s mother groaned.
“Yes mother, I dreamed about Jesus protecting me from the sharks!” Gemini sighed with relief. It was over for now. She could rest and she would be okay.
Gemini’s father cleared his throat and asked, “Gemini, could you tell us all now what happened to you on the ocean?”
“Yes father of course I will,” Gemini replied. She retold the memory of the horror of the waves. She told of the knife that cut her ankle so deep and it wouldn’t stop bleeding. Then she told the part of the sharks beginning to stalk her. This part drew gasps of horror from the villagers listening to her story.
With a new ounce of strength, she boldly talked about her calling out to God for help, and then how as a result the dolphins came and gave her rest and brought her home. She finished off with, “and now, everyone, I confess before all of you my faith in Jesus Christ. I am a Christian now and I will follow God for all my life. I gave my life to God while I was on the back of the wonderful dolphin!”
Murmurs of disapproval were drowned in the sound of cheers that came from the Christians. But Gemini’s mother and father were weeping. Gemini grasped both of their hands and said softly, “I know it’s true, all that what the missionary man has said. I asked God and He answered me. I asked for protection from the sharks, and he protected me by sending the dolphins. I have thought much of this, and I am persuaded that nothing can ever separate me from the love of Christ. Mother, Father, won’t you give your life to the true God? Please?”
Gruffly her father replied, “I would not believe all you said if it weren’t for that I know that you are an honest woman as I have taught you to be. But – if you speak the truth, then – it is true, God is real as He has shown it to you firsthand!”
Her mother nodded with a light smile on her face. “Yes Gemini, we see now too that the Lord He is God.”
Then, right there in front of the crowd of on-looking villagers Gemini’s parents knelt and asked the Lord for forgiveness and gave their lives to Him. The missionary man, at a distance, had not said a word since, but was also kneeling and in awe was praying silently that many more would follow their example.
Softly Gemini spoke, “All my dear fellow villagers, my friends – would you too give your life to the one true God as my parents and I have done?”
Many villagers fell to their knees in prayer for forgiveness. The Christians were on their knees praying for the ones still standing. Gemini began weeping for joy when she realized that within a matter of minutes, not a single villager was still standing! “Oh thank you, my Protector!” She whispered in a hushed voice.
The village erupted in the mighty sound of praise as the people stood to their feet and worshiped the Lord in music and dances and singing.
* * *
2 Samuel 22:2-7
¶And he said: "The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; My Saviour, You save me from violence. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies. 'When the waves of death surrounded me, the floods of ungodliness made me afraid. The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me; the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry entered His ears.