"Rescue at Sea,"

A Poem of Divine Deliverance,

by Nephew Ron Ginther

What do we mean by "accident"?

An untimely birth, or bad incident?

I crashed my bike when I was young--

An unplanned, unexpected event!

Fifty years have passed, with this effect,

Ever since the day my bike was wrecked:

Kneeling down, if I'm not careful,

Socket, hip, unjointed roll.

Strange how old mishaps hang on,

All past connections--long since gone.

Uncle, do you still feel "SPLASH!"?

As you and ocean together dash?

Two navy craft sailed close at sea,

And then it happened, suddenly:

"Man overboard!" a voice gave shout,

And sailors rushed to search about.

High waters heaved between close hulls--

No place fit for even gulls!

In that narrow slice of sea,

A swimmer's close to Eternity!

What flesh and bone can withstand steel?

For then you learn how ham can feel.

It's a sandwich ships can make

As men transfer--life can take!

Stadem fell into the drink,

So quick he hadn't time to think.

Yet God's close by each accident,

Each unplanned mishap and event.

God's always sovereign, that we know,

Not just sometimes, some folks allow.

If not so, then there's no Way,

There's no Truth, or Life, I say!

If God can't deal with accidents,

He has no power in any sense.

He either wills, or He allows.

In any case, all nature bows.

A mother's prayers, no doubt, were heard.

Half a world away, don't be absurd?

Yet someday soon we'll see it all,

How God responded to Leroy's fall.

His brother Arthur died when young,

Yet Lee was spared--like songs we've sung:

Rock of Ages, cleft for Lee,

A Rock that reached far out to sea!

What a friend God proved that day,

Who swept the wave of death away.

Sweet chariot of Grace, swung down,

And picked Lee up, all safe and sound!

Friend, we've come to this last thought:

Lee's rescue was first shed-blood-bought.

The Lamb of God was for him slain,

From sin and death redeemed--it's plain.

We know it's true, as God's Word stands

The tests of time and shifting sands.

The Gospel conquers every foe--

And every circumstance that we know.

Come, let's praise Him with what's due

A God who's near to me and you.

In peril, in the sky or sea--

He's ever-present, taking thought for thee!


*Poem based on the true life incident of Leroy Stadem falling overboard from a Navy boat at sea, related by Papa Alfred Stadem in his letter of 1951 concerning the Stadems' trip down the West Coast. To God be the glory for the great things He has done! But let Leroy's Papa, while speaking of Arthur in the navy, tell you himself about Leroy's rescue: "O yes, our dear Leroy also rode those waves and had unusual experiences, of which we can mention only one--near China in a terrific storm when on U.S.S. Duxbury Bay a sealane tender on which he served, when he as one of two volunteered to go out in a small boat to assist a seaplane in the takeoff. All went O.K, until when the small boat was about to be hoisted aboard again, with the two boys in it, something broke and our dear boy fell into the ocean between the boat and the ship in danger of being crushed as the angry waves pounded the boat and ship together. A shrill cry went out from aboard "Blondy fell in the ocean," and every man on board scrambled to duty in much excitement until our dear boy was safe on board again."

Ps. 5: 11, 12: But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You. For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield.

Ps. 68: 20: Our God is the God of salvation; and to God the Lord belongs escapes from death.

Saved by Grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8

Kept in safety wherever we go (Psalms 91: 11)

Blessed coming in and blessed going out (Deuteronomy 28: 6)

An overcomer by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Rev. 12: 11)

Blessing the Lord at all times and continually praising the Lord with my mouth (Ps. 34: 1)

Some probable effects of Lee's death if it had occurred at that time, instead of his being rescued: no marriage to Elizabeth, no sons and daughters, no grandchildren. No pastoring at many churches over a lifetime of ministry. No faithfully helping his aged mother through her last years without Papa. No countless deeds of kindness to parishioners and friends and acquaintances. No brotherly help and kindness to his seven sisters, which continues to this present day! No nephews able to review his long life of 70 years and glad to pen such tributes as these! No ministries by his sons and daughter and their spouses, no families of theirs, no continuation by them of the Stadem heritage of faith in Jesus Christ and love for fellow man. Think of the suffering for the mother, losing two sons, Arthur and Leroy, in their early manhood! Who was to help her in her old age when Papa was gone? Obviously, it was thought too big a loss for God and the Stadem family to bear, and because of His mercy He decided the outcome of the "accident" as He did.



(c) 2006, Butterfly Productions, All Rights Reserved