Her sand castle quickly eroded, swallowed by the indiscriminate tide. Beach lovers laughed and gossiped much about Lucinda Trevor.
Lucinda had a reputation: a predatory hawk constantly hovered over her. The seagulls flew away in fear.
Memories of Sunday School had disappeared. Lucinda began to make bad choices. The game Monopoly was an obsession of hers. As banker in the game, her blood pumped wildly: an uncapped oil well.
Soon play money no longer did it for her. Carrying dice, Lucinda gambled her lunch money. She won $33.00 the first week. She was hot. She was hooked.
But Lucinda's luck changed. No longer did the dice roll as she commanded: seven-- come on seven! The powerful beast sunk to dark depths in the sea. She was losing big time. She raised the stakes; however, she crashed like many angry waves. Wave after wave. Her mind was numb, a cold sweat banded her forehead. Her hands trembled. There was a gaping hole in her stomach and her heart was sliding down and out. Onlookers were now cheering a new winner.
Nobody befriends a loser.
Gambling at Helmer's High was an epidemic thanks to Lucinda Trevor. Kids were stealing money from home. An honor student failed a subject... and on and on. There was an investigation. The outcome: reports were made on all students involved. Members from a twelve step program came twice a week to share what gambling had done to their lives. They were by and large ignored.
Lucinda was desperate. She decided to break into Cousin's Jewelry. That very night, hammer in hand, she broke the thick window of Cousin's; she stole diamond rings and expensive watches. The alarm failed, the video surveillance showed only a black umbrella.
Everyday a gambler from Anytown crawls alone through the mire.
The next morning Lucinda's soul was fiery with smokey black confusion: Godly conviction pierced her by requesting a duel with her addiction.
Lucinda headed to the sea to think.
Suddenly, the sea regurgitated. A thousand tiny rivulets formed on the sandy shore. The sun was on the horizon but Lucinda only saw dead-dog ugliness in her life.
A family came to swim. Lucinda sensed a hundred eyeballs, like spilled marbles, circling around her. She assumed a defensive stance. "Run, run far away," she whispered to the sea. But it was too late, she was busted. Two police officers walked toward her and spoke with authority, "You boasted to friends about your crime. Big mistake"
The courtroom contained mostly drones: the gawkish, the gossipers. The oak gavel hit the desk and the curious cringed. They all became dutifully quiet.
"Lucinda Trevor, I sentence you to six months house arrest," the Judge bellowed.
"All confiscated evidence is to be released to Cousin's Jewellry. Case closed," he added.
It was now Autumn. The sea was waltzing. Large warm waves cajoled the sea shore. Lucinda was free of her restrictions; free, except for her reputation. Yes, her conscience had won the duel with her habit, she hadn't gambled for six months. She vowed she'd never again roll the dice.
"Help! Help! I can't swim," a boy cried. A wave was tucking him under its mighty wings. Lucinda swam swiftly to the boy-- she saved him.
Lying on their stomachs sunbathing, the boy's parents were oblivious to their son's dilemma.
Bradley Sterling ran to his parents and excitedly told them how Lucinda had saved him.
At church the following Sunday, Everyone gave honor to Jesus and thanks to Lucinda Trevor for saving young Bradley Sterling.
Later in bed Lucinda thought, If Bradley had died he would have gone to heaven. But if I had died trying to save him, I'd be in Hell right now. "Jesus, will you save me from eternal damnation," she begged. "I repent of my sins, please come back into my life-- I truly want to serve you once again."
Peace which passes all understanding was poured into her innermost being. From then on Lucinda Trevor remained in the knowledge that Jesus would bring her through anything the sea could spew out from its bottom.
Lucinda stood at the water's edge. Her toes were tickled by the tentacles of a retiring wave. The myriad of white caps performed the dance of David. In the clouds she saw an image of an old friend: Jesus. The sun reflected on the sea creating a mirror which revealed all of the depth's secrets. Calmness prevailed in Lucinda Trevor's life.
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