One cold early evening Eros and Bartie Savage motored out into San Francisco Bay in their cabin cruiser to share a picnic dinner. They saw a college rowing team and waved to them. The water was very choppy that afternoon, but they continued toward the San Mateo Bridge. They sought passage through the drawbridge, but they were waved off by the tender of the bridge because of the huge waves in the water ahead.

They were about to head for home when they saw a red light glowing in the distance; it was in the shape of a cross. They were interested in the source of the light, so they steered the boat to investigate. They had to go through shallow, muddy water and they knew that it was dangerous; the mud could get in the engine and ruin the boat. Sure enough, mud began to come out of the exhaust pipe and the engine temperature reached the danger zone. But they pressed on, compelled to find the source of that red, glowing light in the shape of a cross.

When they finally reached the light they saw that it was only a buoy reflecting the red light of the sunset. The Savages felt foolish; they had risked their boat to chase a mirage. Just then Bartie commented, "Look at all the coconuts in the water." But when they looked closer they saw that they were not coconuts, they were the men from the rowing team. Their boat had crashed into the bridge and sunk. They had been in the icy water for an hour and had been tossed around by the waves so that they had also swallowed an hour's worth of saltwater. They were close to death. They had come to a point of desperation and had prayed together to be rescued. The Savages pulled them aboard. God answered their prayer for rescue with the light of a cross.

Illustration from: Allan Moseley, "Christmas Light," Southeastern Baptist Seminary, Wake Forest, North Carolina