I struggle to stand in an icy river. My legs numb, my face damp from the mist. No one else seems to notice. Those I call my friends fall in laughing and slip away. I follow, letting my body get thrashed by the current but it doesn’t feel right. I claw for a foothold or a branch.
My heart races as another strong blast of frigid runoff slams me in the face. I try to scream but the water drowns my protest and presses me further from land. Someone grabs my neck and hold me up momentarily, our feet slip and falter on mossy rocks. She is a friend I’ve seen around at parties.
Finally, a break from the rush that threatens to take me under.
I’m the only one shivering but all the others have blue lips and peeling purple patches indicative of frost bite. I’m thrown under once more by the strong river.
A branch grips my arm and the river suddenly feels stronger as my momentum stops and water fills my mouth, blinds my eyes. The branch grips tight around my wrist and I begin to rise though the force slices my aching, tender skin. It’s a wonder my clothes has not been shredded and washed down ahead.
As my head rises out of the rapids a voice calmly says, “There’s a deadly waterfall ahead. Hold on and I’ll show you how to remain.”
The Lord says, “Listen to me,
those of you who try to live right and follow the Lord.
Look at the rock from which you were cut;
look at the stone quarry from which you were dug.
Look at Abraham, your ancestor,
and Sarah, who gave birth to your ancestors.
Abraham had no children when I called him,
but I blessed him and gave him many descendants.
So the Lord will comfort Jerusalem;
he will show mercy to those who live in her ruins.
He will change her deserts into a garden like Eden;
he will make her empty lands like the garden of the Lord.
People there will be very happy;
they will give thanks and sing songs.
Isaiah 51:1-3 (NCV)
Her face is kind and I think I recognize her.
“Why won’t the others stop?”
“They don’t know they were meant for land.”
She pulls hard and I realize the branch was her arm, now wet from the rescue. I find firm ground near her.
“It’s the Rock.” she explains. “Remain here and save any that you can.”
I reach for a man swimming the backstroke, his clothes reduced to just one sock but he is too far.
She looks sorrowful. “So many don’t want saved.”
Time’s up! Today’s prompt at The Gypsy Mama’s Five Minute Friday is community. It reminded me of an analogy I recently heard that as Christians, we stand on The Rock in a river where many people are rushing, blissfully ignorant toward their doom. If we don’t extend our arm, rescue those we can, be the change we want to see, stand against the norm and look stupid…we aren’t living the great commission, we aren’t being a city on a hill. We are simply drowning with the others. I hope I stand with a community of believers and rescue all who will draw near.