David is John Wayne to me. A seasoned Top Gun, he served as base commander in Asia while I was trying to grow some of my wings. I met him at church. The beauty of his family was magnetic. He spent most of his weekends seeking paths to assimilate his deep spiritual zest to his assigned cultural locus. He got adopted as son to one of Luzon's provinces as a validation of his sincere grit. I love this man. He was the first cowboy who loved me. I call him my second Dad.
It was during a most troubled time in my late adolescence when his bullets saved me. We had an excursion to some historical island in Luzon when we were caught in the fury of a menacing squall. The banca was no match to the pummel of 20 feet waves. While rain poured like leopards and elephants, our hapless condition hung by mercy's thread. While this giant calamity toyed with our puny boat, there was something more internal that seized my fright. I was in a state of deep sin. I was tired of God and was on detour of satiating my personal greed. Somehow, I knew, the storm was not some casual incident but His hoist of warning.
I was preparing to drown. While the frantic silence grew, I began untying my shoes, removing my watch ... I must travel light in water. It was then that I spotted David at the prow. He was as calm as an Oak . It was so disconcerting to spot the exact contrast of my internal convulsions. I overheard him say: "I've been through rougher waters."
Who cares ... when my deluge was truly unseen. The storm grew wild enough to squeeze the sputtering motor to a halt. It was then that I imagined my day's end.
The cowboy's leadership was sterling. His quietude steered our motley crew to stay the course. It seemed like eternity being spiked up and spiralled down the chaos of China Sea. I kept my eyes on David for anchor. God was not in the boat. He chose to be in the eye of the storm.
It did not take much to surrender. When you are up against the God of Poseidon, any struggle is futile. I resolved to stop my defection that day. I prayed: God of the Seas, take me to your shore, I am yours again.
David is now retired but untiring in his quest for redemption. He may be clueless on how his mere posture saved me from drowning one stormy day.