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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Beach (07/04/05)

TITLE: THE LIFEGUARD (ii)
By Lynda Lee Schab
07/10/05


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The lifeguard was on duty. He watched from above, his eyes traveling the sand, carefully scanning the jam-packed beach below for people in need of help.

The boundaries were clearly laid out. In the water, white buoys marked the drop-off points, warning swimmers of the danger beyond. He was always deeply saddened by the number of people who chose to ignore those signs and cross the boundaries. He'd saved more lives than he cared to remember. Yet he remembered every one.

The lifeguard saw numerous bikini-clad girls, with barely more than dental floss covering their bodies. He shook his head. Didn't they realize what a target they were making themselves into for perverted men and sexually charged teenagers? These girls were ignoring invisible boundaries but boundaries that were just as important. He'd discovered more than his share of naked girls beyond the sand dunes, to where they had been coaxed, then taken advantage of. It sickened him to think that some lessons were never learned. He hoped he wouldn't have to do any saving of that sort today.

The lifeguard watched as mothers became too engrossed in their romance novels to pay attention to their children. Once in a while he would see the mother look up, then scour the hundreds of bodies in the water for a glimpse of her child. Panic would set in and she might get up and frantically call his name, and when she finally spotted him, instead of relief, she would get angry, scolding and berating the child for not remaining within sight. But four-year-old children don't tend to think about whether or not they are within sight of their parents. They have a naïve security in the fact that their parents are keeping track of them. Why didn't they understand that boundaries should be set and maintained by the parent, and not the child? Then again, no matter how closely you watched them, children had minds of their own. The lifeguard knew this firsthand.

How far outside of the boundaries people went determined whether they lived or died. Sometimes the lifeguard would give several warnings, trying to convince them of the danger that lied outside of those lines. But still people chose to scoff at him and rebel. And when they crossed too far, and the inevitable happened, most blamed the lifeguard. They would shout, "where were you?" or, "it's all your fault!" or, "you weren't paying attention!" He was used to it but it still hurt. In a way, he understood their need to place blame on someone for their loved one's stupidity. After all, no one liked to admit that the senseless tragedy could have been prevented altogether had they chosen to abide by the rules and stay within the boundaries so clearly defined. But it broke his heart that he was the one they blamed, especially when he was also the one who grieved most over each and every loss.

But he wouldn't give up. He wouldn't quit his job as lifeguard for anything in the world. He could have gotten frustrated that people just wouldn't listen. He could have stayed silent and simply not given warnings at all, sitting by while the people destroyed themselves. But that wasn't his nature. He would keep warning. Keep diving in to save those in need of help. Keep dragging people out of the deep water, out from behind the sand dunes, out of danger. Not because it was his job, but because he loved them.

He simply loved them.

He would guard each life with all he had. He would be on duty and keep rescuing until the predestined day came for him to stop. One day there would be no need for saving. But until then…until the end of time…

He would be the lifeguard.


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This article has been read 1103 times
Member Comments
Member Date
dub W07/11/05
Yes, praise God that Jesus sits on that stand - watching and ready to pull us from the brink when we fail.

Thanks for a very meaningful article.
Shari Armstrong 07/11/05
Wonderful!!!!!!!!
Madonna Hooper07/11/05
This is my favorite entry!

Such a brilliant idea to relate the lifeguard to God. And the illustrations you gave were very apt as well.

Great life lessons on a God who doesn't give up on us even though we stray from safe waters time and again!
Suzanne R07/11/05
I love the phrase about 'dental floss' clad girls! You have a good solid message coming through. Well done.
Kyle Chezum07/13/05
Very original! It held my attention through to the end, and I really enjoyed it. Good job!
Val Clark07/14/05
This one is really well written and meets all the criteria! The deeper level of the story is very clear. Lots to think about. My favourite so far.
darlene hight07/14/05
An excellent entry and message.
Crista Darr07/14/05
Fantastic! The lifeguard is an awesome portrait of God and the persons on the beach are typical of humanity. You succeeded in presenting several 'warnings' in this piece. I especially liked how you portrayed the undeserved anger toward the lifeguard. I love this story!
Nina Phillips07/14/05
Truly nice vision, nicely written and hopefully people will realize how carefully Jesus looks after us, even when we don't often enough appreciate it. Great writing.
littlelight
Pat Guy 07/14/05
You draw a beautiful picture of our loving, patient Lord. Very well done!
Beth Muehlhausen07/15/05
Nicely done story, a readable commentary on boundaries and the parameters set by our Lord for our own good! I found myself wanting to fall in love with this loving life guard.......:-)
Maxx .07/15/05
nice point of view... well crafted warnings. very good!
Debbie OConnor07/18/05
Wow! This is awesome. I love the comparison. Great insights throughout. I agree with Crista that the part about the undeserved anger we feel toward the Lifeguard -- and I particularly love and believe what you wrote about His feeling the most pain over every loss. Beautiful!
Cheri Hardaway 07/30/05
You did an awesome job with this piece! Though we have a Lifeguard, we also have responsibility to heed the instructions He has made so plainly clear to us in His word! We can make all the choices we want; we have a loving Father who gave us free will. The one thing we cannot choose are the consequences for the choices already made!