Anchors and Uninvited Guests

Two gas tanks might sound like a good idea but only if at least one of them has gas in it. Jan and I were motoring our boat through a narrow channel on Lopez Island in the Pacific Northwest. The channel connects Fisherman’s Bay with the rest of Puget Sound and the tide was running through it – fast. Our boat had plenty of power to make the run but the channel was lined with million-dollar yachts. Two wealthy couples, dressed in “yachty whites” were enjoying cocktails aboard that night when the unthinkable happened: our little boat ran out of gas and the current had a death grip on us. I flipped the switch to take fuel from the other gas tank only to remember I had forgotten to fill it!

We were about to become uninvited guests on that expensive yacht. Their eyes were wide with horror. The tide had us and we bore down on them at what seemed like light speed. Suddenly, just inches from their dinner table, we came to a stop. Jan had dropped our anchor in the nick of time. Its flukes dug in deep and, strained to the breaking point, the anchor line held fast. The crisis was over. There we sat in the roaring current, side-by-side. I reached over, shook hands, and sheepishly introduced ourselves. 

Christianity had many different symbols in her early years: the fish (“ichthus” the Greek word for fish is an acronym for “Jesus Christ God’s Son & Savior”), the cross (crucifixes, a cross with Jesus on it, didn’t show up until the sixth century), the lamb, and, my favorite, the anchor. 

It is frequently seen on ancient Christian tombstones and in the catacombs of Rome. The anchor symbol is based on Hebrews 6:18-19: Jesus “the hope set before us… is like an anchor for our lives, an anchor safe and sure.” Clifford Jones writes, “In this passage the anchor is a symbol of hope and steadfastness, and in the Church it soon became, especially, a symbol of Christian hope of life after death.” Thank God for anchors!

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