lessons from the sea...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

we stand at the edge and look.

they hold my hands and crowd close to my legs.

the thunder of the ocean causes the little ones to feel even smaller.

i am shocked, at times, that they find me to be so big.

i close my eyes to listen to the lapping of the waves...trying to imagine away all that water and find my feet planted firmly on dirt while the wind plays with stalks of heavy, golden wheat that are bent over in the sun.

i open my eyes and nothing has changed.

except for the sand sprinkled on the tips of my toes and the mist has lifted a bit.

the little ones cautiously let go of my hands, my legs, and began spotting treasures left by the tide, broke open by hungry gulls.

i let them.

they are fascinated and so am i...caught up in these moments of my three growing-up-ones who bend over in wonder at the creation that our Creator has made.

how can a heart love so deeply?

so brokenly?

so desperately?

she holds up her find and her smile undoes me completely.

i want to cup her face in my hands and tell her how deeply she is loved.  how crazy i am about her, because i am.  but life moves so quickly, rushes me and leaves me too breathless to always remember to speak those words out loud.

and so i do.  i bend down until our noses practically touch and i tell her.

remind her how precious she is.

because she is.

she continues to gather them up, those shells of white and indigo and the deepest of purples.

collects them in her shirt and carries them over to me...

she gathers shells and i gather memories and my heart breaks open just a tiny bit more.

and i turn to those old trunks that sit sun-bleached and washed up on shore, looking for a perch to rest on in the early morning hours as they run up and down the shore...the one that He spoke into existence and where my feet now sink deep.

i sink down onto wood that has been carved by wind and water and my eyes are drawn to a tree pierced by iron...

i sit for a moment, maybe more, as the sea gulls cry and my children try and give chase...as the waves lap and my heart longs for fields of gold...

my eyes won't leave that dead old branch sitting beside me.

and i wonder how and when did the piercing happen?  did the hands of a man twist the iron in snug?  or was it the power of the deep that forced the two together?

what moment was powerful enough to scar the wood that was now at rest before me?

i felt like old friends with my beached find.

my cup of coffee warms my hands...

and i think how these words ring true,

...the habit of discontentment can only be driven out by hammering in one sharper. the sleek pin of gratitude.  ~one thousand gifts.

i sink down into the sand, sit closer to the object wounded beside me and thank Him that the air around me that is filled with salt blows gently over the fields of wheat and barley that have turned gold in the heavy heat of summer.

because he said to rejoice in all things, repeated it twice in fact, this man who sung praises in the dark of a dungeon and surely i can too all curled up in dried seaweed and sand and freedom.

so i try.

they come to me, covered in sand with cheeks flushed from the air and the exuberance and pile on top of a mama changed by brokenness, but more importantly, being changed by The One Who willingly laid down on a cross formed by wood that has died.

 where both were pierced through by spikes of iron that twisted in pain...

a pain that saves and a wounding that heals.

i wrap my arms tightly around them and we sit and look out towards inlets and catch glimpses of the horizon.

scattered around our feet are hundreds and thousands of shells cracked open and broken...

and He shows me His heart on the shore of the sea.