Voice of the Kingfisher speaks out …from a different perspective
by Elinor Montgomery
July 30, 2013
Imagine this! You are in a time machine in which you have traveled back 100 years in time, to the morning of April 10, 1912. You are on your way down to the docks, in Southampton, England, to say good-bye to your beloved brother who is about to depart from you for life to travel to a new world. It is so far apart from your world that you can only feel the depths of the enormous chasm, which is about to come between you and him.
As you trudge along you have the feeling death is walking beside you. How else can you feel when you know you and your brother are parting ways for what could be forever; for when will you see him again, with such an enormous divide between you?
The day has dawned like every other day, glorious in the rays of the sunshine, yet the mood is as dark as if there were no sun at all. How can you say good-bye when there is life and the beauty and knowledge of a person on one side, and the moment you turn away, you are left with only a memory of him, who, in all likelihood, will never cross paths with you in this life again?
It is difficult for you to hold the sting of tears back as you round the corner, and there, before you, appears the glorious, white, gleaming superstructure of the Titanic, rising like a mountain on the horizon and standing against the sky like the pillars of a great temple. Does it not reflect the time in which it was built – a time of constant wonderment? You are made to think of the words of the prophet, Daniel, when the heavenly Messenger, with the likeness of the sons of men, said to him, “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase (Daniel 12:4).”
Has the Renaissance not drawn to a close with Da Vinci’s plans for a flying machine having become the reality of the Wright Brothers’ invention? The horrors of the American Civil War have been over for nearly 50 years in the land where your brother is going, with nothing but optimism for you and your brother’s new generation, the first generation to come of age in this shining, new century. There seems to be political and social stability here, where you will remain in England, and, as for America, it looks like a future of bigger, faster and better things to come. Could anything stop the engines of progress or the captains of industry who sit at the controls?
Yet, as you step up to the dock, something captures your mood with the feeling of impending disaster. Had they not said that even God could not destroy this mammoth ship, named for a mythical god of this world? Were they not sending out a challenge to the mighty God who created a universe, which dwarfs the structure standing before you? Does such arrogance and pride not precede a fall, and what could happen to your brother who is trusting in this ship to deliver him to the other side?
At this point, you step out of your time machine and look back on it all from the perspective of living in the twenty-first century – a time when two World Wars have been fought for liberty and won, and the atomic bomb has changed the face of the world forever. Knowledge is surely increasing at an astounding rate, and many you know race to and fro across the seas and around the world, according to the words that the Messenger spoke to Daniel.
You begin to consider the Titanic and that brother who never made it to the other side. You have the memory of the great sadness you felt for him while in the time machine, but now you understand that it was but a symbol of the sadness you feel for the human race, who, like the brother, on the Titanic, is on the ship of fools, laughing and making merry, as they are catapulted through the waters in a race toward their watery grave. If they only knew that the great iceberg, which ran the gash down the side of the ship like a fatal wound, is but a symbol of the state of mind of the world today, which is as deadly as the iceberg was on that fateful night, 100 years ago.
God deals with a day as though it is a week, a year, or a hundred years. Now, 100 years later, we are at the time when the leviathan of a ship is coming into its full, ghostly shape on the horizon, ready to open its decks to many unsuspecting passengers who have never given a thought to the fact that there are not enough lifeboats on board for the better part of mankind. History has been unfolding to this moment, to this hour, to this time, when we are gambling away our monies as individuals and nations to secure a ticket for a place on this doomed ship of opulence and excesses and first-class ostentation.
One believes that when one has so much, one has won the jack-pot, while at the same time wondering just what more there can be and just what need one might have of God? One would rather be wedded to this pompous piece of man’s works than to the very Lord God who created the world and everything therein. But the truth of the matter is that it is a death-trap from which there is no escaping. As the ship goes down, the sea comes up over it, taking it to its watery grave, which will turn it and its passengers to the dust found at the bottom of the sea.
The Titanic is in a place where it can easily be seen today through the lens of modern technology, but the view is no different from that through which the ghostly leviathan can be viewed in the words of the Bible. The entire human tragedy has been perfectly described to the most minute detail. Those boarding the Titanic had nothing but anticipation of the joy and pleasures the ship could provide, never once envisioning a possible human tragedy, which would happen at the end of the journey. Man, like they were, is dancing on a worldly ship of fools, which is about to come up against a spiritual iceberg and the power of God, by which He will cause the waves to roar and shake the entire world He created.
Look for the signs, my friends, about which I have been warning you – nations rising against nations, wars and rumors of wars, famines, pestilences and earthquakes, with those who preach the gospels being hated by all men. It will be as it was in the days of Noah, with violence and floods, and, as it was in the time of Sodom, with fire and destruction. None shall escape the coming judgment against the same pride and arrogance, which caused Lucifer to fall from the heaven above to the earth beneath. He will be chained, as the devil he is, in the depths of his own seawaters, which will become an eternal, spiritual lake of fire and burning under the final judgment of God.
If only you could have warned your brother when you were in the time machine; but then, would he have listened while the splendor of the ship mesmerized him? I stand here with you today in tears, calling to mankind to get off the ship and remain firmly planted on the dry earth where there is no seawater to cover over the Word of God. It is the only book that can save you, for He was the pre-incarnate Jesus who was the Messenger to Daniel, and it was His Book of Life, the Scriptures, written by His emissaries, called to be His voice to the world. The time of the end has come and it is time to unseal the book again.
The Titanic has served over the century as a kind of horrific reminder that we are all there on board the ship at the moment the world comes face to face with the judgment of God. It carries a love-hate story of the salvation and the destruction of man, depending on what we have done with the heavenly Messenger who came to Daniel and will now come face to face with us. Either we will trust Him and find a place in the lifeboat, or we will trust in the wisdom of those who designed the ship meant to sail on the seawaters of the world. The lifeboats remain above water, but the ship goes down into the depths.
It was both the maiden and final voyage for the Titanic, which speaks of one spiritual journey for all; one for those of the bride who are saved, and one for those of mankind who are condemned. Some jump, some fall, and some row away in the lifeboats of salvation. Where do you want to be when that moment arrives?
Producer, writer and director of the movie Titanic, James Cameron, wrote these words as the forwarding remarks for the book, James Cameron’s Titanic:
Some jump, some fall, each dotting the water’s surface like the period at the end of a sentence. Then, the stern slips under the water, plunging everyone into a coldness so intense it is indistinguishable from fire. Ten minutes. Twenty minutes. The inchoate wail of fifteen hundred souls slowly fades to individual cries from the darkness. We know you can hear us! Save one life! Seven hundred survivors stand by in lifeboats built for twelve hundred, afraid to act for fear of getting swamped. They tell themselves that the voices from the water do not belong to their husbands or their loved ones. They are merely the cries of the damned….
Then the Epilogue was written with these words:
On March 31, 1909, workers at Harland and Wolff began laying the keel for what would come to be called the unsinkable ship. Eighty-eight years later to the day, workers are dismantling the last traces of her cinematic twin, scrapping her parts for steel.
And yet, driving back to Los Angeles past the San Onofre nuclear power plant – built on the coastline of the earthquake capital of the world – one wonders if the old canoe has taught us its final lesson. In a line of dialogue that Cameron cut from the script before shooting began, Old Rose admonished Brock, “There’s another iceberg out there, Mr. Lovett. I don’t know what it is…but I do know the force driving us toward it.”
In a quiet moment of reflection Cameron mentions, “I sometimes wish I lived in a world where the Titanic was never a famous ship.” Cast and crew would certainly agree, though it would mean never having come together to create something so opulent, so grand or so terrifying. For six months, thousands of artists and craftsmen willed the rust-fallen leviathan from its icy tomb and made it new again. Fragments of 1912 floated through the present like icebergs on the North Atlantic. How will they describe what they have seen?
It was a time of constant wonderment…
Reference: James Cameron’s Titanic (Harper Perennial publication) – a collaboration of Douglas Kirkland, Merie W. Wallace, Ed W. Marsh, Jain Lemos, Joel Avirom, and Jason Snyder.