Walter B. Knight tells about the sinking of the Scottish trawler named the HMT “Theresa Boyle” which was attacked by Nazi bombers in the North Sea during World War II on February 10, 1940. The trawler was bombed and sunk in the North Sea 115 nautical miles (213 km) east by north of Aberdeen by one or more Heinkel He 111 aircraft of KG26, Luftwaffe.
The ship went down so quickly that the small crew barely escaped with their lives. It was a bitterly cold day; and, because of the cold and exhaustion, one by one the crew members fell back exhausted, unable to help with the rowing of their lifeboat.
After they had been in the cold water for more than fifty hours, they had all but given up hope of being rescued. Suddenly, however, they heard droning airplane engines in the near distance. A plane approached and made a low pass over the lifeboat before heading off fifteen miles away to guide two minesweepers, HMT “Almandine” and HMT “Brabant”, back to the lifeboat.
The airplane then continued circling above the boat until the entire crew had been rescued. Thereafter, seeing its work was done, it flew away. The plane had gone about two miles when one of the rescue ships signaled for the plane to return. The pilot asked if anything was wrong, to which the minesweeper signaled that everything was all right, but that the survivors simply wanted to say, “Thank you!”
As was the case in my previous blog titled “NO THANKS?” from last Thursday, 11/21/2019, I read this story and was reminded of the account of the ten lepers as found in the New Testament Gospel of Luke, chapter 17, verses 11-17. Ten lepers were healed; but only one returned to say thanks. In other words, nine out of ten failed to show their appreciation.
Conversely, to their credit, all of the sailors on board the “Theresa Boyle” wanted to say thanks. Once again, therefore, you and I are reminded that we have choices to make with regard to our sense of gratitude. Primarily, as to whether we will or will not express our gratitude. But also as to whom all we might owe gratitude. Surely there are many.
But there is One in particular to Whom we should faithful to express our gratitude. For, as the Bible tells us in the New Testament Letter of James (chapter 1, verse 7): “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father…”
And for this, surely, we can find time to stop and say thank you!
ILLUSTRATION SOURCE: Walter B. Knight, Knight’s Master Book of New Illustrations (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1990). Knight was a master communicator of a generation ago. He is noted today for the tens of thousands of illustrations he collected up and published for those who communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ. See my earlier blogs titled FINDING OUR WAY from 09/10/2012 and TELL ME A STORY from 7/12/2018.
SEE ALSO: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_shipwrecks_in_February_1940.
SCRIPTURE SOURCE: https://biblehub.com/james/1-17.htm.