By Trevor Fletcher
Two lifeboat men have just returned from a rescue mission, and discuss
Two lifeboat men
Mark 10:17-31 ‘How hard for the rich man…’
(The scene opens on two lifeboat men, Old Bob and Young Bob (yes, really
– why not?). Young Bob looks wet and cold and has a towel wrapped
round him. Old Bob hands him a mug of hot drink.)
Old Bob: Here, get that down you – it’ll warm you up.
(Both drink from steaming cups.)
Old Bob: So, Young Bob, how do you feel after your first lifeboat rescue?
Young Bob: Cold.
Old Bob: Well you would. Minus 15 degrees out there before you
even start to take into account the wind chill factor. But apart
from cold, how do you feel?
Young Bob: Difficult to put into words really; a bit of everything,
I suppose. Excited - you know, all pumped up. Happy – for the
lives we saved. That made it all worthwhile. But…
Old Bob: But what?
Young Bob: But as well as all that I feel, sort of… sad, I suppose
Old Bob: Sad?
Young Bob: Yes. Because of the people we couldn’t save.
Old Bob: We did our best, Young Bob. We did our best.
Young Bob: I know that, Old Bob. We couldn’t have done more.
You sent out the lifeboat, we threw out ropes and buoys – even dived into
the water ourselves to save some of them. But some of them were still
Old Bob: Why do you think that was?
Young Bob: That’s just the point really; that’s what makes it all worse.
It was all so unnecessary - almost as if some of them didn’t want to be
Old Bob: Didn’t want to be?
Young Bob: Yes. Some of them acted as though the lifeboat wasn’t there
at all – ignored the ropes and our shouts. Some even swam away from
the lifeboat. Some of them clung onto the ship as though that could
save them but in the end it just dragged them down with it. But what
haunts me most of all is that there was one man…
Old Bob: What about him?
Young Bob: He showed every sign of wanting to be saved - shouting for
help, trying to get the lifeboat. He would even have made it but
for what he was carrying.
Old Bob: What was that?
Young Bob: Some sort of treasure box it looked like. Something
he’d brought with him off the ship, I suppose. Whatever it was it
must have been really important to him.
Old Bob: Why do you think that?
Young Bob: He just wouldn’t let go of it, even though it cost him his
life – it dragged him under and we couldn’t get to him in time. We kept
shouting at him, ‘Let go! Let go!’ but he wouldn’t. He just
kept clinging on. Then it was too late. Is it always like this
Old Bob: Young Bob, I know it’s hard and you’d like to save them all,
but there’s always some who won’t be saved and then there’s some who would
be saved but won’t let go. You probably noticed that all the ones
who were saved were carrying nothing; they saw the chance of being saved,
so left everything. But if people try to cling onto their possessions,
they will drown.
Young Bob: So what can we do?
Old Bob: Just get out there and tell people, Young Bob. Just
Copyright Trevor Fletcher, all rights reserved.
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