The clouds moved offshore and sun began to dry the rain soaked ground as many people unloaded their boats and made their way to the Intra-coastal Waterway to fish or get some cool air.
I chose to grab a couple of wire stringed round crab pots from the trunk of my car along with a bucket, tucked them under my arm while picking up a bag containing ice cream and chicken thighs I had just purchased from a store, and walked across the parking lot admiring the new trucks and boat trailers.
Carrying my load and making my way down the hill to the little pier at the waterway, I met a girl smiling and began to share the beauty of the day and God. She responded likewise.
She didn’t look no more than thirty years old with clear skin, a petite form, and a teenage graduation ring set with a garnet stone on her finger – she had youth in her attitude.
Our smiles and joy for life with God captivated each other — talking about fishing and crabbing — as we embraced as if we’d known each other all our lives which solidified our kindred spirit and love for humanity within a minute despite suffering from worldly oppression.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do. They’ve run me out of the church, crime is so bad, and my husband takes drugs and has confessed to molesting girls,” she said.
Her eyes sparkled with understanding against the backdrop of her black hair.
“Don’t know where I’m supposed to be and need a home.”
“But our home is not on earth: it’s in heaven,” I responded. “And I know just what you need.”
We made our way back to my car to get a little blue book I had written years ago: I knew she’d find the answer to her problem.
As we made our way back down the slope, her inquisitive young traveling accomplice arrived wondering what we had been talking about.
“God,” I responded.
Slim, 16, with long blond hair swaying in the wind, bare feet, and cut off shorts, she wanted to know more about God: interest covered her face like a cat’s stare of competition.
And she wanted some salt to lure a snail out its shell. “I want it dead,” she said with a dead panned look.
Inner hostility reigned in her voice and an illustration of a law student formed in mine while arguing the merits of keeping the snail alive.
“I have some salt;” so I went back to the car again and got her some salt out of a compartment –and then went back to bait my traps.
She sat down beside me pricking her snail and asking questions of heaven and hell. “Same god in all religions,” she exclaimed.
“Mmmmmm . . . . lots of gods,” I responded, ” but none come before the true God. That’s the first commandment. And you got to go by Jesus to get there.”
“Well, what about the devil? How do I know?”
I let her think about that a second, and told her to know who to go to when temptations and the devil comes around, which I think she understood.
After a couple of hours fishing and crabbing my friend, the teenager, and company had to go back home.
We embraced again and I stared up the ramp at her leaving when my kindred spirit turned around one last time to give a furtive glance, but that’s what makes these meetings so wonderful — letting go and letting God.