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Crabby Morning


I was driving home from work early Wednesday morning, and I was undecided as to whether I should stop by the beach for sunrise photos, or just go home and get to bed asap. I had a meeting at 3pm, and I’d been up all night at work, but I was also just in time for sunrise. It’s a spot I have to drive by on my way home, and something (or some-One) in my conscience was nagging me, so I decided to stop and take a look.

I accidentally passed the row I usually park in, and ended up just a little further down the beach, which is now part of the story. As I often do, while I was walking over the berm from the parking lot, I said, “okay Lord, let's see what you have to show me today.” It never fails. First thing I saw was the sun at half-rise over a calm sea…

I started to shoot some photos and approached the shoreline as I often do, looking for items that may have floated ashore or some awkward shells worth collecting. Out of the corner of my eye, something was moving under a small patch of seaweed that got my attention, so I looked over and saw three crab legs sticking out of the sand. I touched one, and they moved! I thought it was very unusual for a crab to be upside down under the sand, so I decided to help it. That is when I realized the crab was entangled in a net that had been totally covered with sand and seaweed by the receding surf.

As I lifted the net, I discovered there were four more crabs completely entangled in what appeared to be an abandoned (or lost) net, baited with chicken and a dead fish, all of which had been buried by the surf and out of plain sight. I was surprised they were all still alive after being buried, though very weak from their struggle with the net. I always have a pocket knife on me, so I spent the next twenty minutes or so cutting the net away from each crab, one at a time as I set them on the shoreline. They were too tired to walk or swim, so I had time to take some photos, which gave them some time to recover. By the time I got the last crab out of the net, one of them made it to the water; can you see it?

You may have noticed the crab on the lower right has no legs or claws on its left side, probably lost in its struggle to free himself from the net. But it was those remaining legs that were sticking out of the sand, which saved all five of them. Though he will likely not survive, he was dying and never gave up.

I took a few more photos, said goodbye to the crabs, and tossed the net in the trash on my way back to the car.

Once in the solitude of the car, I was feeling pretty good about freeing something I would normally have eaten myself… 😜

There He was, where He always is, waiting in the solitude when He spoke. “There are millions of people trapped in nets, under the seaweed and the sand, where no one can see them, their struggles, their pain, or their losses. They are trapped, entangled in the net of this life; they are dying, and they need help.”

Needless to say, it was an awe-inspiring moment of realization.

Later in the evening, while reviewing the events of the morning, a verse came to mind…

“Greater love has no one than this, then to lay down one’s life for his friends.” - JOHN 15:13

Hope 4 Life provides the tools we all need to cut away at the nets that have us entangled. A fellowship of crabs that never give up and are doing what they can to pull one another up and out of the sand.

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