You are not alone...
The doors of every ship and vessel seem to be locked today. Wherever Danie arrives the stepladders have been drawn up, or the men are too busy to see him.
At one ship Danie makes it to the deck, but an angry voice heard in crackling tones over a radio sender announces that it is not a good time. Danie knows when he has lost the battle and leaves.
Heading to the last ship for the day he realises that a full day of visiting ships just became an hour of almost visits. At the top of the ladder, the security guard sends a message to the bridge to announce Danie’s visit. This time a friendlier voice says that they are all busy, but that Danie can go to the dining hall if he wants to.
There is always hope and Danie gets going to the dining hall. It is quiet and deserted. The only movement is the slow rhythmic movement of the ship. Danie unpacks a few Bibles, just in case. He waits in vain and he puts everything back in the backpack, despite the hopeful unpacking.
On his way out, he almost clashes with a young man running into the dining hall. “Jeremia”, he says to introduce himself. He is out of breath and explains that he needs a quick cup of coffee before the start of his shift. Danie introduces himself and Jeremia asks whether he also wants a cup of coffee. He continues to ask in detail about Danie’s work.
Hesitatingly, Jeremia mentions that it was sheer luck that he ran into Danie. He needed a few moments of rest, but decided a cup of coffee would do a world of good. Danie realises that Jeremia has something he wants to share, to get off his chest. If you want to get something off your chest, it means that it is full. It means that something has to give to make room.
As if considering his options, Jeremia starts explaining slowly. He had been working on the ship for only two months. It was his first time away from home... and then the tears starts to flow freely. Sadness, longing, hopelessness – all words he uses to explain the tears.
At that moment Danie sees the meaning of the particular morning. All the doors that were closed, the harsh words of the Captain of the previous ship and Jeremia that decided to have a cup of coffee... Everything happened to allow them time together. The feeling of it being a God-moment is so strong that Danie assures him: “God sent me to you this morning, to assure you that He is with you, that you are not alone”.
The words truly comfort Jeremia. It is a huge moment and it helps him to put down everything that is too heavy for his heart, even if it is just for a moment.
Had the angry Captain invited Danie on board, if he had visited another ship, if he had waited two minutes longer on the quay, he would have missed meeting Jeremia. If, if, if...
We serve all men working at sea that cross our paths. The Spirit guides us to see the red flags that friends and companies miss. We bring relief and help by spreading the message of God’s love, hope and mercy.