Is This Your Stolen Car?

On a misty, but warm spring day some weeks ago, my daughter and I decided to take a walk along our local beach at Gormanston in County Meath. This beach has been previously labelled “the most radioactive in Europe” and I can well believe it since it lies directly opposite the nuclear reprocessing plant at Sellafield in England. Sellafield, unfortunately, had been dumping nuclear waste into the Irish Sea for many years and is said to be the contributing factor to higher cancer statistics in my local area and on our east coast in general. On a warm day we used to go into the sea here but I have been a little reluctant on hearing one local say that he wouldn’t even let his dog into the sea now!

The long sandy beach which stretches for many miles from just south of Drogheda in County Louth right through to Balbriggan in County Dublin has the potential to be an area of outstanding beauty, with its scenery and bounty of wildlife. However, because of international and national pollution and the fact that the Irish Army use the Gormanston area for military purposes, this makes it most unattractive.

On this particular day, though, all of nature seemed to be in its glory, with the rush of the sparkling waves slipping in over the sand, the seagulls crying in the breeze and daffodils growing wildly and waving on the high cliff above the beach. I took a deep breath of (who knows what kind of) air and everything looked good until I spotted it – a car which was partially submerged in the sand, with no number plates and smashed windows. When we took a closer look we noticed that the interior was smashed up too. Somehow this cast a shadow over my previous optimism, when we had set out on our walk.

Here was someone’s car which had been stolen, vandalised and left as litter on the beach. My heart went out to the owner, since my husband had his car stolen too once; smashed and dumped by a joy rider, in an area of Dublin where even the police are reluctant to ask questions.

Perhaps I have painted another picture of Ireland here; one that questions its ‘green’ and peaceful image and one that would not readily appeal to tourists. Yes, it can be an unpopular route to take, when we see things for how they are and when we point out the negatives in our society.

Of course other parts of the world have problems too… “for we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” (Romans 8v22)

At this moment those who know the Lord live, sleep, walk and work in environments which have been polluted and in societies where sin abounds. We are not immune to the diseases and effects brought about by mankind’s sinful attitudes and desire to make themselves rich. We live in a polluted world, both from a spiritual and environmental point of view – but God is Sovereign. Just as He delivered “just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked,” (2Peter 2v7) those who trust Him in this the Day of Grace, will find in Him a refuge, through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 The month of April has been designated as “National Spring Clean Ireland,” a time when individuals and organisations can work to clean up their environment. This is an admirable thing to do, but spiritually speaking, only the Lord can get to the root of the problem. Surely for changed attitudes in every sphere we need ‘clean hearts?’

Yes, His blood “can make the vilest clean,” so for those who know Him as Saviour, let us reach out in love to the souls and communities around us, as directed by Him. Not everyone is a joy rider, a thief or suffers from drug/alcohol abuse – but all have need of a Saviour. For the moment, the Christian lives in a world where he may be robbed, attacked and subject to disease which has been brought about by men’s greed but if we are faithful to the end, the Lord will bring us into a haven, infinitely safer than that of Lot’s on this earth. There will be no thief, liar, vandal, immorality or disease; no crying and no pain.

“Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.” (2Peter 3v13&14) Praise God.

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