Last week, the boys and I watched this sailboat float too close to the rocks at Bluff Cove in Palos Verdes Estates. It was a magnificent sailboat before the waves caught it and thrust it up against the jagged rocks at the northern end of the cove. Presumably, it had come in to watch the surfers catch the giant waves curling towards the rocky shore. The winds were high, that fateful day, and a strong rip tide was keeping all but the very brave out of the sea. We watched in astonishment as the waves began to push the boat up against the rocks and then in dread as a huge wave slammed into the sailboat, so hard that someone went flying out onto the rocks. Within seconds, two others jumped out into the deeper waters of the ocean where surfers came to their rescue. Minutes later, the boat was destroyed and then later, out of a morbid sense of curiosity, I persuaded the boys to hike down towards the wreckage to check out the damage. Within an hour of the first impact, this was what was left of someone’s beautiful and assuredly, expensive boat.
The scattered pieces of debris littering the rocks, the cove and the beach reminded me, in that moment, that there have been times in my life when I too have been broken. Times when I have looked around and surveyed the fragments of my heart and spirit scattered about, unsure of how I was possibly going to put the pieces back together. And yet, so beautifully and perfectly with the greatest breaks have come the greatest of blessings.
“O Carpenter of Nazareth,
This heart, that’s broken past repair,
This life, that’s shattered nigh to death,
Oh, can You mend them, Carpenter?”
And by His kind and ready hand,
His own sweet life is woven through
Our broken lives, until they stand
A New Creation—“all things new.”
“The shattered substance of the heart,
Desire, ambition, hope, and faith,
Mould Thou into the perfect part,
O, Carpenter of Nazareth!”
The accident that we witnessed is a forceful reminder that we cannot presume to come so close to the rocks and expect to be protected. That sparkling bay lined with breaking waves, jutting rocks and steep cliffs is a majestic example of His work but it can also come at a price. We cannot solely rely on the mercy of God when we choose to sail into dangerous waters. Maybe our sadness and our broken hearts bring us to jagged shores or maybe our natural curiosity but unlike this sailboat, which will never be whole again and whose remnants will sink and float and scatter along the shore for miles, we can be mended. It is the greatest gift that we have been given. His life, his atonement and his love. The Savior will mend us if we allow him into our lives. Said he, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. … For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” His yoke is easy but he does ask for our hearts. Have a beautiful Easter week.