H and I drag the steely rods of our beach chairs further back, next to the dunes, while holding on to our separate piles of books and shoes with earphones dangling over our chests. High tide and angry waves threaten to soak our hallowed spot. I’ve given up on walking the small, dry strip of beach and chosen to sit instead. It’s become our Sunday morning ritual. While the kids sleep in, we Sabbath on the beach while the sun casts her early morning, vibrant sheen like metallic cellophane floating on water.
Pushing my emerald toes into damp sand, I’m mesmerized by the zigzag of a lone surfer in the center of the wide expanse of churning sea. His tanned upper torso bobs and balances then floats horizontal. Patient, he waits for the perfect stretch of sea to stand upon.
Mostly, I’m learning what it looks like to abandon yourself to passion and feel God’s pleasure in it.
“I took the most glorious walk on the beach this morning,” a friend said later, over glasses of red and chunks of crusty bread. “The waves were so vicious, stretching high and curling, God’s presence was magnificent.”
Her husband asked how she managed to walk on the beach when the sea was so ungenerous. Throwing her head back she laughed, stretched her arms wide like the horizontal posts on the Cross and said, “I got soaked and loved every minute of it.”
I sit in church, watch tiny arms outstretched toward the fathers who are not their own. Mothers wrangling herds of small heads while waiting their turn to eat round pieces of hard bread and drink from a tipped cup while giggling.
Sometimes alongside the inspired words of the Book, God illustrates Hope in the lives that actually live it. A reminder that freedom of expression encourages growth and legalism suffocates it. Because He makes us all so different.
The revelation of God to any man is not God coming from a distance once upon a time to pay a brief momentous visit to man’s soul. There is no idea of physical distance involved in the concept. It is not a matter of miles but experience. He is nearer than our own soul, closer than our most secret thoughts. ~A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God
There is more than one way to experience Jesus, don’t limit Him to a holy room where dancing is only allowed in the back.
Faith that depends on fitting in doesn’t know how to belong.