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daily prompt, where are you?
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daily prompt, where are you?
The detective approached him after their eyes met. He wished he could stand as good manners dictated, but he was pretty sure his ankle would not be cooperating. The pain was pounding at him and he fought down nausea.
“Hello. I’m Detective Davis.” Her serious gray eyes look directly into his, assessing.
“Jim Stewart. Sorry I can’t stand.” He waved toward his ankle.
Her lips twitched just a bit and he answered with a small smile of his own. Perhaps she was a classic movie fan.
“No worries. Let me get your info then EMS can get you to the hospital. I’ll follow up with you later.”
“Thanks, I’d appreciate that.” He gave her his personal info and she nodded to the paramedics waiting to get him on the stretcher.
Not the way he’d planned his day to go. But really, who planned to break an ankle while tripping over a corpse on the beach? He tried to avoid thinking about her. It. If he thought of it as “it” would it combat the horror threatening to overwhelm him?
O Lord, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I. Give wisdom to those investigating this case. Comfort the family.
Elizabeth watched as EMS wheeled Stewart to the ambulance. She pushed down the sympathy trying to well up. Get your head in the game, Davis.” She muttered.
“Boss. We okay to pack the victim up?” She nodded. Sighed. Turning, she looked out to sea one last time, searching the horizon for the Navy ship she’d seen earlier. She noted a cargo ship further out and briefly wondered what a career as a merchant sailor would be like. Wishful thinking. Her mind wandered back to the jogger. I wonder what he does for a living? Argh. Stop it! Focus.
What did she know about the victim? She was young. Elizabeth frowned then punched numbers into her cellphone.
“Any missing persons reports match the description of our victim?”
She listened, nodded. “Thanks. I’ll follow up.” So many missing children!
He came down the steps to the beach at a jog; so familiar with the path, he no longer had to think about where to place his feet. His gaze was drawn to the horizon where sea met sky. Breathtaking. Deep breath. Salt. Kelp. Laundry detergent from his freshly washed T-shirt. The view never got old. The tide was out. Screeching seagulls. Sand pipers poking into the ebbing waters, looking for snacks. Thank You. He whispered the prayer.
To his immediate right was the pier, a few old men fishing off it. He remembered at time from his childhood being there with his dad when a fisherman had caught a small hammer head shark. He smiled at the memory. To his left in the distance he could see the power plant; that way looked relatively empty and he chose to run that direction.
He stretched, then set off down the beach at a jog until his muscles warmed up. His Nikes slapped the wet sand in a comforting rhythm. He gradually increased his pace until he was sprinting down the shore. Heart pounding, blood pumping, breathing measured. Every muscle in his body felt alive.
His morning run was suddenly disrupted when he tripped over something on the beach. His ankle twisted and he heard a crunch as he fell forward. He rolled onto his back and sat up. What he saw caused him to yell, but it came out as a gasp. Horror hit his brain and shot adrenaline into his system, causing him to feel cold and nauseated simultaneously. He scooted backward in the sand, then reached for his phone.
“911. What’s your emergency?”
There’s a rush to get on the bus.
Jostling and laughing, a few shouts. The bus rumbles to life. Diesel perfumes the air.
Amanda’s sweater is blush pink. It matches her cheeks. Cheeks made rosy by youth not cosmetics.
She sits on the slippery vinyl bench in the row with the “hump” to rest her feet on. Primly she folds her hands in her lap and waits. Will he sit by her? She watches the door eagerly.
He appears in the doorway. He looks her way. Smiles.
She blushes prettily. Her heart races.
He strides toward her.
Walks past her.
Sits on the last row with the jocks.
Her smiles falters. She pales. Embarrassed, she looks around. Could anyone tell how high her hopes had been? No one sees. Everyone is talking and laughing and joking while she sits alone on a bus full of people.
These two. I can honestly say that these two men were the most influential men in my growing up years. On the right is my dad, Allen Keifer; on the left is my pastor, Eldon Martens. These two began a life-long friendship in the early 70’s. Together, they started Fundamental Baptist Church in Escondido, CA. The church started in our house in October of 1973, and I’m told one of the Sunday School classes was held in my bedroom!
As I look at this picture (40 years later… gasp), I get a lump in my throat. These men were consistent. Consistent in their work ethic, consistent in their outreach, consistent in their ministry, consistent with their families. When I think of faithful, these two are top of my list.
I think about all the years I sat under the ministry of Pastor Martens. From the age of 3 I listened. And I learned. Parents, please don’t underestimate the influence sitting in “big church” has on your children. I sat under the gospel and a few months before turning 5 years old, I understood the gospel: that Jesus died on the cross for my sins so that I could go to heaven when I died; and I bowed my head and accepted Jesus as my Savior while my mom sang in choir practice!
Pastor had a way of relating to people. Even as a small child, I knew I could go up to him and talk to him and he would stop everything and listen. I remember getting a Bible as a gift. I wanted to show it to him. He stopped what he was doing and prayed with me that the Bible would be important to me and that I would read it every day.
I remember so many Sunday nights when “the whole church” would congregate at our house for my mom’s pancakes. (I’m not certain how many people that was, especially in the early days). I’m thankful that my “culture” was my church. I grew up in the culture of the church as family. We kids of the church played together, fought together, sang together, went to school together. Church was a major influence. And why? because my parents made it important. They made sure I was influenced by godly people. They made sure I was sitting under the preaching; and you know what? they made sure I was behaving myself so that I would not be a distraction to anyone in the service who needed to hear the gospel (how’d they do that, you might ask… Well, it had to do with going outside and my mom’s shoe… and as my dad would say, maybe some “weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth”)
My dad was a man of faith. He was a man who gave. SO MUCH. He was of those secret givers, secret influencers. We didn’t know half of what he did until his funeral and people started talking about it.
In the early part of 2011, Pastor Martens passed away and in October of the same year, my dad went home to be with the Lord. Our families just shook our heads and thought, “Of course. Those two. Always did tend to be in the same places at the same time.” Somehow, it was just RIGHT.
Let me ask you this: Who will be the most influential people in your childrens’ lives? I hope my legacy is as powerful. I hope yours is.
Source: So it’s Thursday…