after a cloudy morning of diving, the group has gathered near our small boat off the coast of madang, png. i am bobbing on water’s surface, wrapped in pink and blue lycra. scuba gear on…still weightless. confident from a completed dive. mind full of color and movement and life.
my dad gestures an invite to show me something. glancing at my air gauge, my mind registers a quarter tank and i follow him down.
only thirty feet.
but as we reach depth, i take a breath and there is none.
nothing to breathe in. no air.
i turn towards my dad, hand flailing at my throat. more than a signal—-it’s a cry for help.
he hands me his extra breathing device and in hurry, i don’t clear it completely. instead of hoped for relief of oxygen, salty water streams into my mouth and i am choking. i cannot try again without taking more water in.
fear and panic collide and fill my eyes. and my dad acts. wrapping an arm tightly around me—–looking up, kicking hard—–he pushes the button to inflate his own vest for speeded ascent.
my lungs burn for needed air and my eyes burn from tears. he keeps a hand on me at the surface while i catch breath after breath and my heartbeat slows. he floats quietly with me while i find calm again. this moment just between us.
i knew what to do to help myself. the distance was not greater than i could cover. but in that moment, thirty feet of water became an entire ocean between me and my next breath.
and when my dad saw the bare face of need….he responded. nothing else.
love sometimes needs only to come to the rescue. nothing more, nothing less.
my parents, dave and jackie scorza and dear friends, ralph and marey todd. people whom i’ve had the privilege of seeing spend nearly a lifetime as missionaries, “coming to the rescue”. much love. xoxo