"I saw a dark and stormy ocean"
The daily immersive exposure of our world makes us blind to the "present darkness" by which we reside. Our Netflix shows, marketing billboards, and social media feeds supply us a reality claiming the imperfections of this world are mere blemishes to the actual state of our being. "The world is not as lost as you might thing," the world whispers in our ear, "just continue as normal."
I recently read a shocking, yet chillingly familiar, tale by William Booth titled: A Vision of the Lost. Allow his words to sink deep into your soul as you consider the unsettling state of our world.
I saw a dark and stormy ocean. Over it the black clouds hung heavily; through them
every now and then vivid lightening flashed and loud thunder rolled, while the winds
moaned, and the waves rose and foamed, towered and broke, only to rise and foam,
tower and break again.
In that ocean I thought I saw myriads of poor human beings plunging and floating,
shouting and shrieking, cursing and struggling and drowning; and as they cursed and
screamed they rose and shrieked again, and then some sank to rise no more.
And I saw out of this dark angry ocean, a mighty rock that rose up with it’s summit
towering high above the black clouds that overhung the stormy sea. And all around
the base of this great rock I saw a vast platform. Onto this platform, I saw with delight
a number of the poor struggling, drowning wretches continually climbing out of the
angry ocean. And I saw that a few of those who were already safe on the platform
were helping the poor creatures still in the angry waters to reach the place of safety.
On looking more closely I found a number of those who had been rescued,
industriously working and scheming by ladders, ropes, boats and other means more
effective, to deliver the poor strugglers out of the sea. Here and there were some who
actually jumped into the water, regardless of the consequences in their passion to
"rescue the perishing." And I hardly know which gladdened me the most - the sight of
the poor drowning people climbing onto the rocks reaching a place of safety, or the
devotion and self-sacrifice of those whose whole being was wrapped up in the effort
for their deliverance.
As I looked on, I saw that the occupants of that platform were quite a mixed company.
That is, they were divided into different "sets" or classes, and they occupied
themselves with different pleasures and employments. But only a very few of them
seemed to make it their business to get the people out of the sea.
But what puzzled me most was the fact that though all of them had been rescued at
one time or another from the ocean, nearly everyone seemed to have forgotten all
about it. Anyway, it seemed the memory of its darkness and danger no longer troubled
them at all. And what seemed equally strange and perplexing to me was that these
people did not even seem to have any care - that is any agonizing care - about the poor
perishing ones who were struggling and drowning right before their very eyes . . .
many of whom were their own husbands and wives, brothers and sisters and even
their own children.
This is an abnormal writing style for me; I am usually more positive and encouraging. However, ever so often we need to be shaken from our trance and consider the actual state of our world. It's dark. It's lost. It's drowning. There is something we can do about it, though. Like those in the tale who are casting out lines and boats for others who are drowning, we as Christians provide a hope for this world.
Discipleship. This is the key. The catalyst for a changed world. We must become disciples.
To read the entirety of Williams Booth's, A Vision of the Lost, you can click here.
To watch a rendition of Williams Booths, A Vision of the Lost, you can click here.