To Carly, the beach meant school vacation, picnics on the sand, and swimming in the icy, blue water. With her best friend Vanessa in tow, lazy afternoons found the girls slathering themselves with suntan lotion, and baking in the sun until their skin turned golden. Many secrets were shared on these special afternoons.
Vanessa’s family went to their cabin in the mountains for the 4th of July holiday, so Carly went to the beach alone. Posted signs warned that the current was unusually swift and that swimmers should stay out of the water. Well, at least she could walk along the shore and let the waves lap over her feet. School would be starting in a few weeks, and she had a lot to think about. Lost in thought, Carly didn’t see the large wave coming. It sucked her into the water as she fought to swim back to shore. The waves were too strong, and pulled her underwater.
Carly would bob to the surface and then sink again. She needed to grab on to something like a rock or a tree. She spotted a huge boulder to her left, and as the water carried her along, she reached for the boulder and pulled herself on top of it. No one was in sight on the beach, and she wondered how long it would take to be rescued. Her wet body shivered violently as she wrapped her arms around her body.
She knew she could talk to her best friend Jesus. “ I’m sorry Lord,” said Carly.
“I didn’t mean to walk so close to the water. Please send someone to rescue me.” Just talking to Jesus made her feel better. Four hours passed and she had not eaten since early in the morning. Carly was afraid to drink the water. She would lose her perch on the rock if she fell asleep, but she was so tired.
To pass the time, she sang “Jesus Loves Me,” and “Safe in the Arms of Jesus.”
The last thing she remembered before falling asleep was slipping off the rock and into the water. Minutes later, she woke up and saw a man beside her. His eyes were as brown as chocolate kisses, and a heavenly light lit up his face. “Hello little one, I’m going to help you get to shore,” he said. “Climb on my back and I’ll swim for both of us.”
Carly blinked her eyes and stared up at the stranger. “Are you an angel?” she asked.
He smiled, but did not answer. “Let’s get you to shore and out of those wet clothes.”
Carly had promised her mother she would be back in time for dinner. Mother had spaghetti and meatballs ready to serve, and there was no sign of Carly. Feeling uneasy, mother knelt by her bed and prayed. She remembered her favorite verse in the Bible about casting your cares on God. I Peter 5:7- “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” A feeling of peace swept over her as she drove to the beach.
The stranger swam with strong strokes, even though the current was swift. With Carly still clinging to his back, he reached the shore. A crowd gathered around her as she coughed water out of her lungs. Tears ran down Carly’s cheeks as she spotted her mother.
“Mom, I almost drowned,” said Carly. “ This man carried me to shore. Mom, I think it might have been an angel.”
“There’s no man here Carly,” said Mother. “Is it someone in this crowd that helped you?”
“He was right here,” replied Carly. “ I wanted to thank him. Where did he go?”
After resting a few more minutes, Carly was able to get up and lie down in the back seat of the car. Mother smiled as they drove along. She realized that an angel had saved Carly’s life. Psalms 91:11-12- “ For He will command His angels concerning you in all your ways. They will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”
A pleasant evening loomed ahead. Mother would wrap Carly in a warm blanket and let her sit in front of the fireplace. Together, they would eat spaghetti and meatballs, and have a talk about angels.
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