On a sea-lashed shore, Love awaits

Categorized as Rhonda's Posts


It was just this Sunday last. After days of silence, he’d messaged me. The team, he said, had moved to another town, and wi-fi was a 45-minute walk. To yet another town.

“Pray,” he’d said that day in answer to my question, “that I’d be rested up. I have some intense ministry coming up.” Then, in the morning darkness a few days later, another message had come in. “We’re going to Greece. Tonight.”

Riveted, we watched the drama. Refugees, fleeing for their lives, converging on a little island just off the coast of Turkey. Fathers and mothers, old and young, desperate to find safe haven. Some, dying to find safe haven.

A world at war. Evil and good. Darkness and light and great conflict. And our racers.

It hadn’t been planned. Not by them, but by Him. A great need that arose spawned great miracles. Doors opened, funds came in, teams were mobilized, crooked paths were made straight and the Light came by ferry to an island. In the sea.

Then tonight, another message. “It’s bad, mom.”

Ah, Lord. My heart seizes up, and like that, I’m there on that island. Waves crashing…

“Talk to me.” That’s what I say to my racer far away on an island.

And he does. “We were a God send. Without us, they are horribly understaffed. Sometimes up to 2,000 people to about 15 staff.

“It was cold, rainy, and miserable tonight. There was a tent for them to stand under, but they couldn’t sit down because rainwater was flooding the tent. People were coming up (with) borderline hypothermia.”

I can feel it. The wet. The fatigue. The cold leaching down into bones. Just a tent…

“One family lost a child at sea. Emmanuel, the leader, says this is a daily thing. I haven’t even seen the worst of it yet. I haven’t been to the beach yet. There’s even a place where their feet are rotting off because they have been standing in line for 2-3 days in trash, muck, and sewage.”

Wordless. Just seeing, and feeling. Such suffering…

I look up from my phone. Across the room, my youngest child sits in safety. Well clothed. He’s been fed. He’s warm, and he’s happy. My God (that’s a prayer)! My child is alive.

Like that, I am there on that beach, and they’re coming. Boats carrying hopes, bearing dreams, cupping heartache. They’re coming. And love’s waiting.

Tonight, our hearts are bursting. First, with gratitude that our loving Father has chosen to use flesh and blood for this mission. Second, with sorrow for suffering that’s too big to be wrapped in syllables or shaped into paragraphs. If prayers can be tear shaped, then we’re praying.

In our son’s words, “It is very gratifying work, though. Everyone is so grateful. Even though all you can do is smile and give them a blanket, tea, and crackers.”

On a sea-lashed shore, Love awaits. And Love’s reaching out to the needy. Bless the Lord, O my soul.

“And whoever gives to one of these little ones (in rank or influence) even a cup of cold water because he is My disciple, surely I declare to you, he shall not lose his reward (Matt. 10:42).” 

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