The Voice of a Boy

Seaman Gill Maddox looked out across the beach at San Diego, the sun had placed its light beneath the surface of the western pacific and the cool air of the summer night was blowing in from the far away ocean. Gill’s heart was broken, the letter that he carried in his pocket had closed the hope that he had for a life with the girl of his dreams. Boot camp had not gone well and the navy he just knew he would love, instead he hated.

He had not made the school he had hoped for and was only a few days from being placed on a ship headed to sea with no rate to try and qualify for and knew that for the next several months he would swab decks, paint, cook, and who knew how many other to him menial task. He removed his shoes and socks, put the letter in one of the shoes and his billfold in the other. He gazed out across the vast darkness of the ocean broken only by the reflection of the lights from the ships far out to sea and those from the buildings along the boardwalk. He rolled up his pants and stepped into the water. The Pacific at San Diego is never warm, in fact the current from Alaska always keeps the water cooler than most people enjoy. He waited a moment, then went a little deeper, waited, then deeper.

Suddenly a voice out of the darkness behind him broke the ocean’s trance as he heard it say, “Mister your shoes are going to wash away and you are going to get your uniform wet if you go any further.” Gill turned and saw the incoming tide washing closer to his shoes and saw the small body of the boy in the shadow of the beach. “Thanks!” he said, the turned walked back toward the beach, touched the boy on his head and said thanks again as he picked up his shoes and started toward a bench. “Thank you mister for serving our country. My daddy is way out there on a ship, cooking for all of those men and keeping the ship and me and mommy real safe.” Strange how God uses the voice of a child to change the heart and direction of a broken man. The tour of duty at sea was not perfect and he mopped a lot of decks but he made it and he did it and he served.

Ivan

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Published in: on February 18, 2015 at 11:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

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