They caught my attention the minute I stepped in from the bright sunlight, onto the cool cement floor. As my eyes roved the exhibition hall, they became transfixed on the huge twisted metal panels before me.
I was curious, as usual (my family would say “She wants to know something about everything”–sigh). But why they would hang these mangled gates in plain sight if it wasn’t significant?
Except for one twisted rail, the right side simply looked as if a semi-truck had rammed and bent it in the center.
The left side however was inexplicable. The rails were scrunched one upon the other like an accordion and then given a twist for good measure.
Finding no written explanation, and sensing a story, I asked the nearby attendant. She laughed and said in her charming Irish lilt, “They’re amazin’ aren’t they?”
She said that in 1986 an edict came from Dublin to keep unapproved sightseers from docking and climbing the treacherous rocky surface of Skellig Island.
The island was basically a tiny rock that soared straight from the ocean in jagged knife points, rising over seven hundred feet above the surf. A World Heritage Site, preservation of the ancient monastery at its summit was paramount.
Once the gates were securely bolted into the rock and locked, all was well until the forces of nature intervened.
They didn’t even last a year!
A few months later, the rock was buffeted by a huge storm and the gates were wrenched from their post, disappearing in the cold depths below.
In an instant, man’s attempts to contain a wild, barren outpost were ripped from their hold. Our strongest materials became a laughable gate of matchsticks in the face of the violent winds and the crushing waves.
A year later divers found the doors deep on the ocean floor and brought them back to the mainland… in all their mangled glory.
His power is mighty
His power is unfathomable
His word is a thundering storm.
He rages against the powers of darkness.
Yet he holds me dearly
His voice is a gentle whisper
Covering me with his hand
Protecting me in my storms
Raising me from the depths.
Restoring me to his calm
To his peace
To his forever love.
Psalms 148:7-8 Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding…
-When is the last time you felt caught in a “storm”?
-How did you handle it? How should you have handled it?