I went to church on Sunday because I am uber-holy, and also because I’ve missed like four of the last five weeks and was pretty sure they were about to kick me out. During the sermon, our pastor mentioned that people are blessed when times are hard because that’s when they rely more heavily on Jesus and not themselves. Which is so true- like this weekend when I almost died.
I should probably start at the beginning.
I have this friend. Let’s call her Mantamy. Mantamy is one of the people that inspire you to do great things. And by “great”, I mean “insane.” If you ever read in the paper that I’ve died by bungee jumping off the Space Needle or hand-feeding a tiger, you can be sure it was probably Mantamy’s idea. She’s the one who got me to go to India despite the fact that I hate traveling or flying or generally anything that involves leaving my couch. But a couple of weeks ago, she invited me and three other girls to a weekend at her beach house, and I thought “Now THIS sounds like a fun trip. How scary can the beach be?” Besides, the ocean and I have long-set boundaries. After all, I saw Jaws in the theater when it first came out. My idea of fun is sitting in the sand with a book, and a beer, and I was pretty sure Mantamy would have plenty of both for me.
As if God wanted to give me a reminder, while I was packing, the movie Red Water was playing on the television.
Seriously. No thank YOU. To make matters even more clear, when I got to the beach, Mantamy told us how sorry she was that we’d gotten there so late because earlier, she’d seen a bunch of fish jumping in the water so she took her kayak out to where something called a “bait ball” was, and not only did she see the fish but, and this is the part that she liked, also sharks. Big sharks. Sharks big enough that she started to think that maybe she should leave in case they bumped her kayak and knocked her in the water. Mmm kay.
You can imagine that I wasn’t ready to jump into a kayak. Friday, Mantamy and the other girls, Keekle and Eli, all took them out for a spin, and I don’t want to be a tattle-tale, but not one of them wore a life jacket. Granted, Mantamy only had ONE which probably came with the house, but still it seemed like at least one of them should have worn it. I don’t know much about water safety but it seems sort of unsafe. Kinda of like taking a kakak TOWARD something called a bait ball. Surprisingly, they all made it back alive.
By Saturday, I knew that I would have to at least go out in the kayak so that the girls wouldn’t call me lame. Keekle, Eli and I got them ready to put in the water, which is when Matamy mentioned that we’d need to hurry ’cause she’d “just spotted another bait ball and if we were quick we’d probably also see sharks.” Obviously, I had no intention of actually going anywhere NEAR something called bait, but I followed the others at a distance. By the time they made it to spot where all the fish were jumping and the birds were diving, it ended. The bait buffet moved on down the ocean, and I put a fake disappointed expression on my face, and went to join the others.
Which is when I looked to my left and saw this:
Or it’s slightly smaller cousin. So, I immediately yelled SHARK, then started freaking out and praying under my breath because, like my pastor said, there are times when it feels like if Jesus doesn’t show up, you’re in serious trouble, and that time is when you see a shark. Did I mention that Keekle looked down and saw two under her kayak? Or that Eli started paddling TOWARD us so she could see it? Or that I am the only sane one in this story?
My first instinct was to paddle the heck out of dodge, but because I’ve studied sharks by watching a lot of movies, I knew that the last thing you want to do is smack the water like a wounded fish. So I kept praying. And then I asked ELI to smack around like a wounded fish if she was in such a big hurry to see a shark and while she did that, I left. Surprisingly, we all made it back alive.
So, now thanks to Mantamy, I have seen India AND a shark. And I suppose I’ve drawn closer to Jesus because of both of those things.
She must keep Him REALLY busy.