Semper Paratus (Always Ready)

After 25 years in the US Coast Guard, Leslie Thompson retires to a small village on the Maine Coast only to find his primary purpose in life – as a stepfather and mentor to a wheelchair-bound 12-year old boy who, because of an accident, has lost his father, his ability to walk, and his faith in God. Through a miracle on the open seas, Thompson and the boy renew each other’s beliefs and discover a fuller understanding of God’s love and His power to redeem.

The scene opens in darkness with a man swimming hopelessly in the dark waters of the Pacific Ocean. He is hunting for something as a helicopter whirs overhead. He finally finds something in the water, reaches for it and pulls it over his head. As he does, he lets out a scream into the night. The man, Leslie Thompson spent the better part of his life as a United States Coast Guardsman, first as a rescuer and then as an instructor. When he retires, at the age of 47, he finds a quiet room to rent on the Maine Coast, with a spectacular view of his beloved ocean and settles in to write a book about his life at sea. What he finds instead, is a Christian family that draws him into one more adventure on the open sea as he rescues a wheelchair-bound 12 year-old boy in an exciting, near catastrophic event, a new-found love and a reawakening of his lost faith in God. Leslie retires in a traditional Coast Guard ceremony and immediately moves to a small town on the Maine Coast where he rents a furnished room in a private house. The owner, Alison Carter, has two young children, Joannie (14) a precocious teenager always ready for a change, and a 12-year old son who, because of an automobile accident that left his father dead and him in a wheelchair, is struggling with his faith. The family embraces Leslie and he takes an immediate attraction to them. Leslie buys a boat that can facilitate a wheelchair and he and the boy spend much time cruising and fishing, a luxury the boy never experienced with his father. He teaches the boy the basic rudiments of boating, a feat he can accomplish despite his paralyzed legs. As a result of an argument, the boy takes the boat out by himself, and gets caught alone in a furious, life-threatening storm. Leslie asks his friend, a Coast Guard Captain to send out a rescue party which Leslie joins. The boy is struggling to keep the boat afloat and the storm worsens as the seas grow more deadly. Leslie jumps into the sea to rescue him and in the pitch-blackness of night, Leslie's faith is renewed by a beam of light shining on the boy and illuminating his way. he takes it as a miracle that restores his belief in God, and in himself.

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Author Bio:
Douglas Mitchell is a retired actor and stage director currently living in Portland, Oregon. He was a published newspaper columnist in the Los Angeles area and in Oregon for almost 20 years.