Someone to Stand Against the Current

The Rock

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.

Post Falls dam

She laughs as we twist in the water. “Why aren’t you coming? Ya’ scared?” She presses both hands on my scalp, gripping my hair with fierce determination and shoves me under the water. “Have a drink!” her laugh shrill and gurgling.I recover, but have no way to tell how far away from the source I’ve floated. I now recognize no one.

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.

12 thoughts on “Someone to Stand Against the Current”

  1. You are such an amazing writer! I could picture everything as you described it. The message is so well written as well.

  2. Wow, what a good strong picture! In it over my head. You bring the analogy to palpitating life!

  3. What a beautiful illustration of how we are supposed to live! I have never thought of “the rock” this way.

    You have forever changed my paradigm. Thanks for the shove into the river and the hand up onto the rock!

  4. Jenny, Sylvia, Kim, thank you ladies, I’m happy to have you here and I love reading your comments. You inspire me!

  5. Wonderful analogy. I was disappointed when the story ! five more minutes please : )

  6. I’m speechless. This is both scary and beautiful at the same time, Jess. We need to be careful we’re not caught in the current, but standing firm on the rock and pulling others to safety. Here’s to throwing out our hands for others. I’m grasping yours.

    1. Well, hang on tight girl! I’ve got so much brimming up inside me that God is doing it’s scaring me too!

  7. Beautiful art is first selecting what to steal and then finding the right frame.

    And you, my friend, prove how those who give the most away always make the best choices.

    That 5 minutes could outlast you. A good day’s work for any missionary. ;)

    Love the vision, my friend. Keep drying out.

  8. This is beautiful art, Jessie. Keep refining, but be encouraged–I could feel this.

    I’ve been discovering the best art comes first from selecting what to steal and then from finding the right frame. You also remind me how those who give the most away always seem to make the best choices.

    That 5 minutes could outlast you, sister. A good day’s work for any missionary. ;)

    Love the vision, my friend. Keep drying out.

    1. Ha! I like them both. It’s always a joy to converse with friends even if they repeat themselves. lol ;) Thanks for the encouragement to keep pressing on. I will!

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