Sandcastles and Sea Turtles…and the “Deep” Thoughts They Brought to Mind
Two things happened at the beach today that got me thinking so I thought I’d share them with you. First, Angela and I spent about 45 minutes building a sand castle. I’m not normally a big fan of sand castles because I don’t think I’m very good at building them and in a little while, all of your work is washed away. But we did it and I began to think about the brevity of life. In building a sand castle you spend time building something that you know is not going to last. But you do it anyway. Life is like that. We spend a lot of time “building a life” that we know is not going to last very long. The Bible says that “life is but a vapor which appears for a little time and then vanishes away”. Without a focus on eternal life, everything that we do in this life is just going to wash away.
While building the sand castle I happened to look over and I saw a baby sea turtle on its way to the ocean. Sea turtles usually hatch at night and they usually move to the ocean in groups but this little turtle was on his or her own. Angela and I spent about 45 minutes watching the turtle until it finally made it to the ocean. I read that only 1 in 1,000 sea turtle hatchlings make it to adulthood. Yet, this little turtle made an impression on everyone who came by. There are also incredible penalties for anyone who messes with a turtle or a turtle nest. Why do we care so much? I think it is because we are impressed by the persistence of these turtles and we value their lives because they are so vulnerable. I mean if only 1 in 1,000 make it, they are certainly vulnerable.
I think that Christians are especially called to care for the vulnerable. When Jesus launched His public ministry He defined His mission with the following words from Luke 4:18: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; Notice the words that Jesus uses…poor, brokenhearted, captives, blind, oppressed…All of these are vulnerable. As followers of Jesus we need to care for the vulnerable. Early followers of Jesus were known for their generosity and care for the vulnerable; especially when no one else cared. God calls us to do this. Are we involved? I was thinking about my own involvement in this and am asking God to help me understand how I can do more for the vulnerable in our world. I admit that I cared a lot about that sea turtle…I need to care way more about those for whom Jesus died. How about you?