Of Drowning

I stood close and watched the tiny child stretch his arms to their full length until his fingertips touched. Very low then, he bent forward, pushed off, and plunged in. The water was deep blue, and as I looked, a swirling hole appeared around the little body, then the vacuum filled and closed over him. There was no more motion.

He’s in the water, I shouted to the child’s relative who casually looked on, and who calmly told me it was okay because he could swim.

I stared at the water. Nothing. No thrashing, no head bobbing up, no breaking of the water.

I glanced to the relative who stood in a casual, unworried stance–unsmiling. The water is not deep, said the relative to me.

Back to the water darted my eyes, and yet again I saw nothing. No evidence of struggle, nor of easy swimming. Fully clothed, I jumped into the pool, my feet touching bottom quickly, then another step knocking me into deeper water where I could not maintain my footing. I recalled that I am a poor swimmer. Kicking my legs now, I moved my hands back and forth feeling for the child. I grabbed at something floating beneath the surface, jerked it to the air, but saw it was only a piece of cloth. It occurred to me that I should submerge myself, and beneath the water open my eyes so I could look about, but for some reason I was unable (or unwilling) to do that.

From the relative at the pool’s edge I heard nothing. My eyes were closed, as frantically I continue to kick. My arms were extended and I moved them back and forth feeling…searching…groping. Then I felt the tiny body. I snatched it up, somehow able to stand on the bottom of the pool. I lifted high the child, who in my dream had shrunk now to an infant so small that I easily held him high with one hand. I felt weak movement from his little chest, and shouted to the relative, He’s breathing.

In the next scene of the strange, vivid dream that came to me in early hours this morning, I was in the back seat of a car holding the child while the relative sat relaxed in the front seat. An unseen person was driving, and we seemed to be heading to someone’s home. The baby breathed sporadically. He was limp and did not open his eyes, and then he began breathing less frequently, and I said, I think we need to take him to the hospital.

I had a memory lapse of what happened next, and later as I spoke of my experience to Steve, my eldest son, he acknowledged that at the hospital it was evident that I was just “out of it.” I did not recall arriving at the hospital with the baby, nor of his treatment, nor of us leaving the hospital with the fully recovered baby.


Well, a dream usually is just that–a dream. The great prophet Jeremiah addresses the subject in chapter 23 verse 28: “The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD.”

So I’m telling this merely as a dream, not saying in any way it is from God, however…I woke this morning with the dream vividly in my mind, and have considered for several hours now that it possibly has some spiritual significance for me, and perhaps for you. For is it not true that all about us, people are drowning, sinking surely into spiritual oblivion. Is it not true that despite others response, we must save those within our reach. Is it not true that it may be risky, that we may feel unprepared, incompetent, incapable, and overwhelmed, yet a drowning person struggles at our fingertips, and if we don’t “save” them, they may die lost. (What if such a statement extends beyond cliched oft-heard spiritual expressions and that someone will actually spend eternity separated from God, because we turned away from their final struggling?) Is it not true that a church may shrink if we don’t jump into the fray, and that a floundering baby may die if we don’t minister.

During hours just past midnight, I dreamed. Now, the sun has risen and given to a summer day. Yet the dream haunts me.

Edit: Friday 10:17 I just came across a pertinent article about spiritual drowning by Brother Kelly Ventura. You probably will enjoy reading his timely words.

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By Shirley Buxton

Still full of life and ready to be on the move, Shirley at 84 years old feels blessed to have lots of energy and to be full of optimism. She was married to Jerry for 63 years, and grieves yet at his death in August of 2019. They have 4 children, 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren...all beautiful and highly intelligent--of course. :)

5 replies on “Of Drowning”

The following comment by Pamela Cron was posted on my Facebook account:

I love your writing. You know how to pull your reader in immediately. My family and I have been feeling the same way for sometime now and have been really living Ephesians 6:12
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against princi…palities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Such encouragement to do more!
I love you and thank you for this.


The following comment from Paula Luke was posted on my Facebook account:

That was so good Sis Buxton!! Such a spiritual eye us to jump in and try our best to keep them from going under!!! Kari..yes it will take some special prayer on our part….people sometimes fight you when they are drowning and try to pull you under with them! We have to be prayed up and move with the spirit!


The following comment from Kari Runner Morgan was posted on my Facebook account:

I know the feeling well to have experienced such vivid and heart wrenching dreams…I do believe they are from God, to help us be aware of circumstances and needs around us. Lately I have been heavily burdened with the knowledge of many peo…ple close to me who have made drastic changes in their lives, deceived and floundering in their “new beliefs”, acting confident just as the child/relative you described yet in all reality they are drowning spiritually and wreaking havoc in their lives and the lives of those around them. I feel helpless and my love and concern is unwanted. Intercessory prayer is my hope in these dark and scary times.


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