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Topic: Whispers (01/26/04)
TITLE: 30 Yards
By toronto49 Aird
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This small floating city of 2,000 sailors and marines had been his home away from home for the last four months. It had been the first deployment for this young man and was replete with many exotic ports of call. Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong…all exciting places to visit. Everything had gone well, with the exception of that one ugly night when he gave in to his loneliness. The turmoil, shame, and anguish raging within was reflected in his slow and deliberate death trek across the flight deck. He had failed. He had betrayed his two boys, his wife, and himself miserably. There was no excuse for what he had done and he could not see beyond the thick veil of his transgression.
Unable to rationalize his behavior and distraught with the unbearable pain he was experiencing he began to walk the last 30 yards of his life that would cause him to be engulfed by the cold Pacific Ocean. Approaching the end of the safety of the ship memories of his family poured over his being. He recalled the faces of his family, but quickly convinced himself that it was best this way. How could he be a part of their lives? How could he look in their eyes? “Oh, God! I am truly sorry! I am a failure! Forgive me,” he cried.
Then, the miracle took place. The miracle of Calvary was experienced for deep within the recesses of his tormented soul a tender, divine voice spoke.
The sailor, in giving his witness later, would testify that upon those desperately cried out words to God for forgiveness, God, in turn whispered to his heart. They were not words of condemnation, judgment, anger, or of rebuke. In relating his story, the young man said, “That to have heard those words would have just verified what he was already feeling and what he knew to be true. They would have simply confirmed his own judgments of what he was.” Instead the whispered words spoken to his heart in the darkness of his soul that awful night were powerful words of acceptance and release.
The Love that brushed across his heart answered the pain of a penitent and washed away his actions of betrayal and sin. God had spoken. And in His great mercy and with His unfathomable grace God whispered, “I love you”. Those regenerative words empowered by the sacrificial actions at the Cross melted, washed, forgave, accepted, and made all things new. A sailor was found by his Savior.