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

TITLE: Beached
By Sally Hanan
07/10/05


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The sperm whale, all forty tons of him, had beached himself with sixty-nine others of his kind late that Tuesday night. Now it was mid-afternoon, and he was the last one alive.

Thirty onlookers stood around, some crying, some vainly collecting buckets of saltwater from the ocean to pour over the whaleís massive bulk.

A barge sputtered at the edge of the sand, resigned but still waiting for the affirmative signal to hook up the remaining whale and tow him out to the life-giving water.

The emergency services officers had no suggestions left. Veterinarians could only monitor his life signs. Scientists documented their minute-by-minute observations.

The whale was simply too big to handle, and he died.

***

Beaching seems to be common on the shallow shelving beaches of the world. One theory on why is that the whalesí sonar systems donít detect the gradual change in the waterís depth. Once they get close to a grounding situation they need to be guided back out to their natural and life-supporting habitat.

Too many backsliders end up like this beached whale. In the springtime of their conversion every one of them has a sonar system attuned to Godís guiding voice. That system consists of the Holy Spirit, the holiness within, and the community of saints around them. The more often their old lies successfully return to darken the truth, the more compromise into personal sin any of them allow, the less aware they are of the gradual change in the depths of Godís presence. They need to be put back on track at the first sign of misdirection with loving hands, while the water is still deep.

If this does not happen, and a backslider lies stranded on the sands of secular living, will Christians rush down to him, crying and repeatedly pouring refreshing truth from the springs of life over him? Will tugboat Christians hover at the edge of the comfortable water line, resigned but waiting still? Will they hold out a hook but be unwilling to step onto the sand? How many will monitor lifestyle, document sins and shake heads over the choices made, believing that this oneís sins are too big to handle?

***

There were thirty people on the beach that day for some whales. Will any be around for the beached backslider?


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This article has been read 1012 times
Member Comments
Member Date
dub W07/11/05
Interesting analogy.
Shari Armstrong 07/11/05
Wonderful comparison! Very nicely done.
Suzanne R07/14/05
Thought provoking
Val Clark07/14/05
I struggle with the theology of 'backsliding' however I do hear what you are saying. Caring for/confronting our brothers and sisters who 'fall into sin' is not something I like to do.
Nina Phillips07/14/05
Sad ending for the whale, and difference of analogy. Interesting story. God bless, littlelight
Beth Muehlhausen07/15/05
Thought provoking questions. Good analogy!
Maxx .07/15/05
wow... the last line packed a punch. very good!
Cheri Hardaway 07/25/05
Very thought provoking! Good job!