Power of God!
The amazing Power of God does not recognize any limits or bounds. It can amaze you and show you that without any doubt God is all powerful and capable of anything!
Most of this story is recounted by Oral history, Ocracoke by Carl Goerch, and Ocracokers by Alton Ballance. I am operating off mostly memory so I apologize if I get a few minor points wrong.
Let us spend a little time talking about how the Power of God was revealed with the sinking of the Caribsea. The Caribsea was a United States Merchant Marine ship sunk in World War II. On board the ship was a native of Ocracoke Jim Baum Gaskill. They often sailed the East Coast of the United States.
In March of 1942 German Uboat activity was very high. The Caribsea was sailing off of Cape Lookout NC in the early morning hours. Survivors report that Jim Baum Gaskill who normally watched from the deck as the ship sailed past his beloved Ocracoke Island was tired that day and went ahead to his bunk. A German uboat was prowling and torpedoed the ship very near Mr. Gaskill’s stateroom. If he had stayed on deck as usual he probably would have survived.
You can guess that there is more to the story! The power of God was shown by the events that followed the sinking of the Caribsea. The frame that held Jim Baum Gaskill’s Mate license washed up on the beaches of Ocracoke Island and was discovered by his cousin. This remarkable feat beat the official notification to Jim Baum Gaskill’s parents of his presumed death.
His parents owned the Pamlico Inn, which had a dock that jutted out into deeper waters of Pamlico Sound near present day Springer’s Point on the Island. Several days after the sinking the nameplate of the Caribsea was discovered to be stuck underneath the very pier where Jim Baum Gaskill used to play as a child.
This miraculous event meant that the nameplate floated from Cape Lookout through Ocracoke Inlet and then got stuck beneath the exact pier where he used to live. The forces that made this happen reveals the true Power of God!
The nameplate was obviously retrieved and as the Islanders are accustomed to they recycled it into the beautiful cross in the picture above. The cross currently adorns the altar at the Ocracoke United Methodist Church.
The power of God is limitless and shines through in unique ways such as the Caribsea flotsam reminding the Ocracokers that their native son was taken from them. The cross still reminds parishioners to this day that even though his body was lost at sea Jim Baum Gaskill went to heaven and God sent the notice to his earthly home.