Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: BLUE (11/09/17)
- TITLE: Ocean Deep Love
By Lisa Enqvist
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The new journey away began when I was ten. Dad had rebuilt an old minesweeper into a Gospel ship. It was small, just forty meters long and seven meters wide compared to the passenger steamers we had traveled on before.
The color of the sea changed from gray-blue to dark blue as we left the North Sea and entered the Atlantic. The Mediterranean was bright blue, except when it rained.
We stopped for a short time in Port Said and then continued through the Suez Canal to the Red Sea, which was not red at all. The tropical heat began to feel uncomfortable. It was too hot to sleep inside the cabin, so we had to find a space outside on the deck. I chose a place under one of the lifeboats. Looking up at the bright starry sky before I fell asleep was awesome.
During the day we could see fish of all colors and shapes swimming around the boat. Sometimes a giant sea turtle came right next to the ship. When the crew members tried to catch it, it dived into the depths. On some days we saw sharks nearby, other times dolphins followed us for several hours. The sea continually changed color from deepest navy blue to light blue and turquoise. It was so great that I sometimes thought we would never see land again.
I could see the depths of the clear waters where tropical fish of every color swam around and under turtles and larger fish. It was fascinating. I had not experienced such a thing when we traveled on a large passenger ship. From the high deck of the enormous ocean liners, the sea seemed far away and was just an indefinable blue mass.
My favorite place was often at the fore of the upper deck. I felt the fresh wind that filled the sails while I watched how the Ebeneser plowed through the waves with the water foaming on both sides. At night, it seemed like millions of stars shone in the dark salty water. It was unbelievable. My oldest brother explained:
"That is phosphorus, just like in the luminous numbers in a clock or the little cross we got at Sunday school to hang up on the wall next to our beds. Phosphorus is best visible when it is dark.”
We stopped in Aden to fill up on fuel and water for the longest route of the entire trip across the Indian Ocean to Ceylon. Just after we left Aden and reached the open sea, a storm blew up. Lightning flashed across the dark sky where the clouds chased each other. A star glanced down at me before the clouds covered its light again. The sea was furious.
Questions began to arise within me. The dark blue sea kept its secrets down in its depths. Would the stars tell their secrets to the one who asked? The wind whipped up the waves into high mountains. Our vessel rose to the crest of the wave and dropped into the lowest valley. Should we ever arrive at our destination? If the sea swallowed us - would this trip have any significance?
The marbled shades of the deep blue sea and its vast horizons; the endless azure sky and even depths of the darkest storms on that twelve-week journey from Helsinki to Colombo, gave me a life lesson of the vastness of God’s unchanging love.
A song we often sang on that long journey was:
“O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
vast, unmeasured, boundless, free,
rolling as a mighty ocean
in its fullness over me.
Underneath me, all around me,
is the current of Thy love;
leading onward, leading homeward
to my glorious rest above.”
Author: S. Trevor Francis.
It was only years later I discovered the tune had the same name as our ship: EBENEZER.
Ephesians 3:17-19 New Life Version (NLV)
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