To me, September is the countdown to fall, my favorite season. And it’s almost here! We used to enjoy going to the seashore in late September. The first year we tried that, our youngest grandchild was only two.
How delightful it was to see him running down the beach in front of the adults, his short legs moving as fast as he could possibly make them go! It was as if he knew there just wasn’t enough time to take it all in. He loved the sand and the moon and the water rolling in to embrace the shore. He’d giggle when he saw a wave coming and run toward it as if to meet it, but when it got very close, he’d squeal loudly, then turn and run away as fast as his little short legs would carry him...only to repeat the process with the next wave. I loved watching him! That first summer with him at the beach would have been recorded in my Joy Journal, except for one thing.
One bad incident sometimes ruins an otherwise wonderful experience. That’s what happened on the last night of our vacation. The five of us – my husband and I, my daughter, her husband, and Chase decided to take our final walk on the beach. Our delight in doing so was mixed with a little sadness because we knew, come morning, we’d be packing up the car and heading for West Virginia and home. It had been a very special six days and none of us wanted it to be over, especially little Chase. So off we went, barefoot and scantily clad for our last long walk on the beach. It couldn’t have been a more perfect night! The moon was full, and so was my heart!
Walking beside that overwhelming body of water with a huge full moon hanging so low in the sky that you feel like you could reach right out and touch it, its light glistening from the whitecaps as they roll in, kiss the shore and hurry back out again, renders me speechless every time I see it. It makes me feel so small and reinforces my belief that there is a God who truly is in control of everything. We are puppets with Him pulling the strings. As my bare feet sink into the cool wet sand and the warm ocean breeze caresses my body, I am lost in another world and not eager to return to reality.
And that’s exactly where I was when it happened. Somewhere else. My husband was looking down at the sand, collecting sea shells and Chase’s dad was lagging behind everyone else, for some unknown reason. But when God bestows a child upon a woman, He also gives her an uncanny ability to always know when that child needs her. Mothers always know.
Suddenly, my daughter screamed, “Chase!” I returned from my trance to a frantic mother, a father running ahead of us and a grandfather looking as puzzled as I was. Then I saw what was causing all the commotion. Chase bobbed up from a hole in the sand – just briefly – and then disappeared again! By this time, both his mother and I were screaming hysterically and his dad was on his knees trying to reach Chase to pull him out of the hole. And, after what seemed like an eternity, with some supernatural strength of his own, he finally was able to do it. Strangest thing; the little guy wasn’t even crying – just reaching for his mother. When she wrapped him in her arms, he said simply,“Me fall.” He had stumbled onto some kind of a sand-hole cave in and nobody had seen him disappear, except his mother!
We were a very grateful bunch that night. Actually, we were awed by what had happened. Later, back at the hotel, I found Chase fast asleep and his mother standing on the balcony staring at the moon. She was almost speechless – with gratitude! Fourteen years later, we sometimes revisit the horrifying memory. I don’t know why. I suppose we never want to forget how thankful we are that God gave Chase’s father the strength to pull him out of that hole!
It could have ended tragically! We might have never seen Chase again! We could have had to drive away the next morning without the precious child we took with us!
The very thought sends shivers up my spine!