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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: The Deep End (03/06/14)

TITLE: Where Miracles Happen
By Lillian Rhoades
03/12/14


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Where Miracles Happen

I am by the ocean banks as morning tips its hat and says, “Hello.” It stands with me while I smell the fresh scent of a new day and watch the mist that seems reluctant to turn over the mountaintops to an impatient sun. Silence is not a sound, but somehow I hear it in the quiet that engulfs me. The ocean has awakened, but it respects the hush as its muted ripples cascade over the rocks beneath it.

I remain captured by the stillness, until I hear the sound of music that floats up from that place where memories reside.

“Launch out into the deep and let the shorelines go”… The words shake a mocking finger at my state of mind. Right now, I prefer shallow water and the reassuring comfort of wet sand beneath my feet. I’ve always been afraid to step beyond the no-risk zone.

This time my thoughts float like the driftwood that bobs and weaves pass me, having had its own adventure with the deep.

There must be someone much younger than I am who could be in charge... I’m not a leader. You gave me the gift of helps…What if…

And I tell God everything He already knows about me, and all the reasons why I’m not the one for the job. When I’ve exhausted my excuses, and as the waves start to tackle my ankles, I step back towards solid ground; but not before I hear His voice.

“Come, walk on the water with Me.”

This was my “Peter moment,” and by the water’s edge, my reluctance ebbs and flows with the onset of high tide.

“Don’t be afraid. Come, walk on the water with Me.”

But I lack organizational skills…I may not get enough volunteers… How can I know this is your will for me? …Suppose…

I can’t let go. I can’t step away from the uncertainties that are as threatening to me as the waves that begin to dominate the horizon.

Without warning, the high-pitched sound of a child’s voice puts my inner struggles on hold.

“Hey, Daddy, I bet you can’t catch me.”

A pair of short, stubby legs that could barely outrun a tortoise, does his version of a race close to where I’ve retreated, and heads for the open waters.

Where IS Daddy? It looks as if this little guy isn’t going to stop.

Just before two little feet go for the foamy end of a wave, I feel the sharp spray of sand as two lanky legs sprint pass me, scoops up the happy, arm flinging racer and carries him on his shoulder out into the surging waters.

Whew! He just made it in time.

I interrupt their trek on the way back to their beach spot.

“You really gave me a scare, little guy.”

He glares at me with furrowed brow.

What IS this lady talking about?

But his father understands. He caresses his son’s damp curls and grins at me.

“Don’t worry, Ma’am, I have it all under control. We play this game all the time when we come to the beach. He knows I would let nothin’ happen to this little guy.”

Isn’t that what Jesus wanted Peter to believe?!

“…It is I; do not be afraid…Come…O you of little faith…”

His revelation replaces my trepidation, and I see beyond the shallow waters of my faithlessness. Beyond the safety of the shoreline, in the turbulent and risky deep, that’s where miracles happen, and where we learn what faith can do.

Nothing much has changed since that day by the ocean. I’m still the same stay behind the scenes, “not I, Lord, somebody else can do it better” person. But miracles happened in spite of me.

That summer, Jesus and I held the largest, most fun-packed Vacation Bible School in the history of our church. And like the net that almost broke with the over abundance of fish when Peter “launched out in the deep,” we almost had more children than we could handle.

And the kids weren’t the only ones having a blast during those two weeks of miracles. I had a great time walking with Jesus where I would never have gone on my own, and knowing He would not let me sink.



Part Fiction


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This article has been read 144 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Tracy Nunes 03/14/14
Oh how I LOVE this! Your opening paragraph had me feeling like I was standing on the shore in your shoes...or bare feet. A great lesson and a particularly relevant one for me today. Thank you for writing this. It's beautiful!
Toni Hammer 03/15/14
I grew up in a small beach town. Your descriptions made me homesick; that's a component. The way you used the story of Peter stepping out on the water brought tears to my eyes. Well done.
Danielle King 03/17/14
Brilliant writing! Your opening paragraph was delicious and continued in the same descriptive vein to the end. Great message too. Loved it!
Lillian Rhoades 03/17/14
I'm giving myself a little red ink::-)

"I step back towards solid ground; but not before I hear His voice."

The semicolon should be a comma. Please don't be afraid to point out more errors. All comments appreciated.
Phyllis Inniss 03/17/14
A truly brilliant masterpiece. The beginning had a true poetic feel to it and I was really captivated with the sensation of the scene you described so beautifully. That Peter moment captured the lack of faith of Peter but you retrieved your moment in the end. Great writing.
Rachel Malcolm 03/17/14
What a powerful beginning! I love how you "hear" the silence, and I can visualize the respectful ocean with it's muted ripples.

Your words challenge me to go beyond the safety of the shoreline. I need to trust that my Father knows best.
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/18/14
Beautiful in word and meaning for how God equips us when He calls us. I love the sharpness of the picture you painted.
Theresa Santy 03/18/14
Beautiful application of theme. Loved the message.
Ellen Carr 03/19/14
This is beautifully written with lovely imagery. It rings true as well. Just one red ink comment - I would change 'pass' into 'past' and 'scoops' into 'scoop' in this sentence: "..., I feel the sharp spray of sand as two lanky legs sprint pass me, scoops up the happy, arm flinging racer and carries him ...". The first is probably just a typo but in the second the noun and verb have to match. (two lanky legs, scoop). However, it is well-written and well on topic.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/20/14
Congratulations for ranking 23 overall! Happy Dance!!