The Parable of the Lifeguard

The Parable of the Lifeguard
Two summers ago my family and I went to a water park to enjoy a day of swimming and fun. For some random stranger’s child, this day had an unexpected frightening turn. 

We were all splashing, laughing, and playing, when all of a sudden we heard the loud tweets of a life guard’s whistle. One life guard stood and tweeted her whistle and pointed. As I followed her finger to the place in the pool, I saw a very scary sight. A small boy’s body had went beneath the water, but also a young man who was a life guard was vigorously swimming with all his might, to retrieve the child. 

As this is is quickly taking place, the other life guard continues to tweet this loud whistle. As she tweets it, every life guard in the entire pool begins to run towards the place in the pool where this is happening. Life guards began to jog out of the building even. By the time the young man life guard had pulled the boy to safety on the side of the pool, every life guard had been called to attention and stood eagerly to see if they would be needed to help. 

Turns out, the boy was fine. Terrified by what COULD have happened, but overall he was fine. The life guard who had saved him gave him a hug and squatted down to the little guy’s level so he could explain something to him. At this point the little guy’s parents emerged from the crowd to give him a hug and retrieve him from the life guards. 

I had chills all over, as I watched this moving scene unfold before me.  

As I walked back to my lounge chair to sit in the sun and think, God began to speak to me about what I had just seen. 

The revelation just began to flow. 

In the Church, when we have a brother or sister who falls down into sin, often the response of the Christians in their life or their church leaders is to scold and punish the one who has done wrong. After all, they deserve it, don’t they? And how else will we help them to not do this thing again? They need to have a negative association with this behavior, and it’s our job to help them, right?

What God spoke to me while I was sitting there in that lounge chair is that the picture of what should happen when a brother or sister falls into sin or immorality in the Church should look like what happened here with this boy and the life guards.

Immediately when the boy had begun to go under water, the life guards sprung into action. 

Nobody stood around just a little longer so he could feel the pain of the struggle. Nobody pointed or laughed or scolded. 

Even when the boy was pulled out of the water, he wasn’t scolded or shamed or punished. He was embraced and reconciled with his mother and father. In this hour, God is raising up believers who will be the lifeguards; people committed to rescuing and reconciling people to freedom, safety, and bringing them into the Father’s arms.

This is the parable of the lifeguards, and God is calling the Body of Christ to function in a similar way (see the story of the prodigal son). 

Thank you for reading. I consider it an honor to speak into your life. I do not take this responsibility lightly. 

Be blissed!
Amber Picota

Oh and before you go, I want to let you know that my newest webinar, “Maximizing Your Ministry on Social Media” is now available on demand! This webinar will revolutionize the way you do online ministry!


  1. Peggy Jacobi 9 months ago

    Brought tears to my eyes. Caused my heart to stir. Thank you

  2. Thank you for the good words Amber .

  3. Robin Lewis 9 months ago

    Awesome post! I would say that these lifeguards are the intercessory watchmen positioned within the body of believers. A much needed role to fill. When we are discipling believers we need to be ready to jump in and pull them up!

  4. Rowan Richards 8 months ago

    By now you’ve probably heard the story of the young Florida lifeguard, Tomas Lopez, who was fired earlier this month because he left his station unmanned to help with a rescue in an unguarded section of the beach, in violation of his company’s standard operating procedures.

    • Author
      Amber Picota 8 months ago

      Nope I haven’t heard that story but I’m not sure how that would pertain to this.

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