Life and Death

One warm spring day, at a beach in Marin County, I witnessed  the tragic death of a teenager. Bethany was 2 and we were at the beach with our dear friends Carol and Dannah. We were living in San Rafael, CA at the time and Carol and I had taken the girls to the beach to play, build sand castles, run about and enjoy a picnic together. A large group of teens were also at the beach that day and a group of them were surfing. At some point I noticed that a number of people had run past us and up a path toward a cliff edge. I went to see what the commotion was about and heard that it appeared that one of the surfers had been tossed into the rocks below the cliff and they didn’t know where he was. A number of us looked on as adults and other teens sought to find the young surfer. I went back down to Carol and the girls and we were about to pack up and leave when I noticed that the young man had been found and was being pulled from the ocean up onto the shore. Neither of our daughters noticed all the commotion and activity as they were completely occupied with their imaginations and sand castle building. After they had pulled the boys body up out of the water, they had him laying there for awhile while the emergency people rushed around, found other kids and made phone calls to find the young mans parents. A young woman sat stiffly and awkwardly  beside his body on the sand, sobbing.  I went over and sat beside her, and the boy, and put my arm around her. She collapsed into my body as I held her and prayed (in my head) and cried with her. There seemed to be a hush in the air, even as the paramedics and others were rushing about. My heart wept and grieved and mourned for this sudden, tragic loss of life.  I wondered at the time, where is the Jesus that I had read about who raised people from the dead? Does God do that today? How does such a young life get taken so suddenly, just like that? To this day I don’t remember how long we sat there together, the girl and I, beside this young life gone too soon.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Jen says:

    >What a really sad event to step into. I love that you sat with that girl. You are an important part of her story now.

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