Being a waterman is a tough job. These brave souls venture out in all kinds of weather to gather the delectable foods from the sea for a living. These are strong and determined souls who are independent. They have no sick leave or vacation time, but if they have a very good year and fill their quotas, they then take their "vacation" time to make sure their tools of the trade, including their boat, are maintained and seaworthy. If they unfortunately have a bad year, well, it's up to them to figure out a way to make up for it and many of them do a variety of other jobs when needed to keep their families going. And because of what they face, of which there can be much danger such as guessing wrong on the weather and being caught in a ferocious gale, they have a very strong faith. For some it seems unspoken, for others they attend church when they can, but I think that beautiful cross could play a very significant place in their faith. I bet that many a waterman, on the way out to the Chesapeake, or on his way back home, says a prayer, some openly and others quietly, when they see that cross. They all know that they need greater strength than they have to succeed in what they do and they vividly see the blessing and beauty of God's love in the things about them. But how do I know this? It comes from my experience with my own family.
My uncles and cousins who made their living on the water were all tough, but they also had a gentle side and they wished no harm to anyone and they always, in their own way, acknowledged the presence of God. There was my uncle who never darkened the door of a church but who religiously took his devout wife to and from church and would sit in the parking lot with the window open listening to the praises and the songs which were clearly heard. I remember when crabbing with him on a trot line as he would say thank you, Lord every time he brought in a floater and hook with two jimmies attached. Or the cousin who ran a fishing boat who would call to God as he worked on a recalcitrant engine that needed to start. Both were married to good Christian women who they adored and would do anything in the world for them. There is no doubt in my mind of that they believed in Divine Providence even if they remained quiet about it. Most watermen are like that. They are quiet, don't speak out loudly, but do what they love to do and witness so much more about what really goes on in real life than some of us might ever understand.
So, that cross, that well positioned cross on the water, has seen its share of sinners who often pray for forgiveness. And, after all, is that too much different than any of us? The truth is, only God really knows. Yet that glorious cross, so well positioned to provide counsel in its quiet way for all those men who pass it on their way every day, also knows. It can't speak, for it is not alive, yet it knows. If you ever get to pass it, or one like it, as you move about this world, ask it what it tells you. Who knows? It might just give you the answer if God wants you to know. Have a beautiful day.