Hendricks Head Lighthouse, ME, photo courtesy lighthousefriends.com

Hendricks Head Lighthouse, ME, photo courtesy lighthousefriends.com


Winter, 1870

Hendricks Head Lighthouse keeper Jaruel Marr watched from the lighthouse as blinding snow blanketed the waters off Southport Island, Maine. Miserable weather. Pity the poor souls caught out in it.

He grabbed his spyglass and squinted through it, panning the horizon. His breath caught as he saw a schooner floundering in the waves, headed for the rocky ledge near the lighthouse. All he could do was watch as the ship ran aground.

Dashing down the stairs, he ran into his house calling his wife. “Catherine! Get some blankets! There’s a schooner on the rocks!”

Catherine came running with a bundle. “Did you see survivors?”

“Not yet. I’m going to launch the dory and go to it.”

But the turbulent waves wouldn’t allow Jaruel to launch the boat. When he realized the impossibility of his effort, he went back inside where he and Catherine watched from the window as the schooner’s crew climbed the rigging of the vessel to avoid being swept into the sea. Piece by piece, the ship broke apart, pummeled by the waves.

As the storm died down and dusk covered the water, the keeper and his wife built a bonfire on the shore in case there were any survivors and stood nearby, scanning the sea for signs of life. As darkness fell, wreckage began washing ashore and they spotted a bundle floating on the waves, drifting toward the lighthouse. Wading into the frigid water, the keeper retrieved what turned out to be a pair of mattresses bound together with noises coming from inside. He cut them apart and found a box inside as the sound of a baby’s cry reached his ears.

The couple opened the box and discovered a frightened, screaming baby girl inside. Beside the infant was a note from her mother committing the child into God’s hands.  Catherine gently lifted the baby out of the box and carried her inside to the warmth of the kitchen’ Jaruel and his wife took care of the child, naming her “Seaborn.”

Months later when the island’s summer residents arrived, a doctor and his wife who were childless adopted the little girl and raised it as their own.

A desperate situation. A caring mother. She couldn’t save herself, but did all she could to save her child. Her last hope was praying for God to protect her baby.

Often we find ourselves in hopeless situations beyond our control. We do all we humanly can, but have to trust God to do the rest. He is there for us.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39