There is something incredibly lonely about the ocean. Its vastness,
emptiness, depth, and immense proportions are absolutely over-whelming
at times. My perceived self-importance becomes quickly reduced in
direct relationship to my contemplation of its grandeur. Its beauty
is unmatched, yet that in itself lies diminished by the power that
surges forth out of the heart of its very existence. The
passage of time and the distance of purpose have cast me upon these
uncertain shores, a million memories away from the cities, concerts,
crowds, and careening choruses that filled and fueled my heart and
hopes for over a third of a century. The applause has grown still
with age and the fading stars no longer come out at night, leaving
me to face the future of my past reluctantly subdued and at peace.
At this point I am somehow expecting the proverbial fat lady to come
running out onto the beach singing loudly, kicking sand in the air
while clutching a torn backstage pass to her abundant and heaving
Now a wondering warrior, I am left to stand here on the very edge
of the world like a brazened bullfighter challenging a gracious beast
that at any moment could relegate me and all my frailties into unfathomed
Like the songs
I once loved, I find that there is a rhythm to the movement of the
waves as they explore the shore. They offer forth both a welcome and
an implied inaccessibility that puts their allure into the dream realm.
They beckon until I feel as if I could be a part of them, and yet,
they are so compelling and aloof that I can't even imagine touching
them. The ocean dictates authority and withdraws into submission all
at the same time. It calls and defers unabashedly into perchance exuberance.
To love the ocean is like attaching your emotions to a waif that wanders
at will, nonchalantly beckoning while ignoring your sensibilities
and weaknesses. It summons and rejects in the same sweeping motion.
It soothes and destroys in a singular complex movement. It offers
only cold indifference while warmly alluding to everything good that
has ever dwelled within its depths. Finally, God's very essence comes
pouring forth as I offer my confession before its elegance in a cleansing
moment of repentance and humility.
in life, I feel like a pretender when I come before the judgment of
the shore. It ignores me and dictates to me simultaneously. I am in
control because I can walk away at will, yet it demeans me in its
subtlety. I come before the waves to weep and wonder, to rejoice and
request, to laugh and let go. It is here because it is; I am here
because I am drawn.
Like the woman
I love, it smells and feels good to me. Like her, there are certain
things I can depend on, things that will never change or go away.
There are also things that I deem crucially important, and they cause
me to reconsider and become more forgiving of the things that displease
me. I begin to drift, and eventually count it all of no account except
for the God I worship, the woman I love, and the children that are
the blood of my blood. I succumb at the sea edge to the inevitability
of this mysterious perpetual exchange: I look down and the waves are
touching my soles; I look up and his Word is touching my soul.
Most of all I
become filled with love as I kneel before the tide lines. I think
of God almost without ceasing whenever I am within striking distance
of the coast. His way is one of unquestioning acceptance. He asks
so little and gives so much. He gives the most and gives it first.
When I am able to look past myself and get a glimpse of his greatness,
I can't help but sense that I have fallen into his uplifting grace
and stumbled skyward into the deepest and greatest relationship on
If only for a
minute he could look down from above as I pass before his gaze and
say, "This is my child, in whom I am well pleased" -oh! that would
be a day of celebration, my happiest day of all! The very thought
of being pleasing to Almighty God . . . .
I realize the chill around my ankles is the cold water of a rising
tide. I face the sunset and feel the warmth of his loving hands on
my shoulders; I listen quietly as he speaks silent words of blessed
assurance into my waiting heart. Once again adrift in meditation,
I have become lost at sea.
The tide and I
withdraw from the shore in unison, both retreating into his eternal
purpose. The in-between of getting to the here from the there of my
life is a blatant blur by his design.
As I ease to the
east, I wonder to the west what lies in store for me tomorrow; the
tide ebbs in obedience to its eternal purpose and doesn't give it
I do know that
we will all be here in the morning.