I am always amazed when I go to the sea. Brilliant sugar-white sand shines in the sun which makes my heart leap, because I know in moments my toes will be in the surf. The dunes stand guard over the shore like pyramids. On this beach, white morning glories weave their way up to the tops and like a wedding aisle, they beautify the space as I walk the path in the silky sand between the mountains. My view is obscured, but my ears tell me that just beyond the dunes I will find the ocean. The sea oats sway in the wind, bidding me to move quickly. The breeze picks up my hair and tosses it behind me and I pick up my pace. Finally the path comes out onto the well packed sand which makes the walking easier. My feet make crunching noises until I reach the flat space where water meets sand. Then I SEE.
As far as my eyes roam there is clear blue and green striped water. It is vast. It is enormous. It is inspiring. My feet do a little involuntary dance when they are covered by cool clear water and sea foam. My ears take in the rhythm of the breaking waves, and the rush of the surf as it moves back and forth along the shore. The shells are at my feet, like a rough carpet that leads the way into the waves. I go in to my knees, then hips, then waist, and then dip down to my shoulders like I am being drawn into it by its very force…pulling me, until I cannot resist submerging my head so that I am completely covered by its flow. I come up, head to the sky, face to the sun. I stand. Looking out over the horizon, always looking to the distance and wondering what is beyond the black line that separates water and sky. I watch the waves roll and fold onto themselves with small white foam tops that absorb again into the green. They grow bigger, but are not yet ready to break and so they roll past me towards the shore. I float among them. I hang in balance and let them wash me and move me slightly forward. I bob and feel them pull me along, playfully.
It is calm enough to lay on my back and float, listening to my breathing which is amplified when I am trusting the sea. Every measured breath rings in my ears and if I close my eyes it is all I hear…my breathing…as I float atop the waves. Rolling up and down, breathing in and out. The movement is so gentle it rocks me and if I was not conscious of being dragged out to sea I could sleep here. There is peace here. Worship even. A momentary quiet among the constant noise of life. It is why I love to float…it’s like a soundproof room. But I am not foolish enough to float for too long. I put my feet down and I am back among the waves, watching what looks to be diamonds scattered along the ridges and crests. As far as I can see they glitter like secret gems stones amid the emerald green waters. Only white bubbling froth on the surface breaks the spell, that and occasionally a jumping fish. I soak it all into me, the sights, the sounds, the smells, and the feel of the beach. Doing this day after day is like being baptized over and over again. It refreshes and renews my spirit.
So of course God speaks to me here through the vast and great sea.
The sea is my love, he says. It is endless. It cannot be fathomed. It is mysterious. You can float in it, or ride on it. It can saturate you, and surround you. You can hear my breath more clearly…my heartbeat even. The pounding of the waves it what it sounds like. Consistent. Never ending. My love never stops coming. It is faithful. Day after day. Year after year. You do nothing but walk into it. You decide how far. I do the rest. You simply go with the flow…the waves roll around you. They wash you. Sometimes they break you. But always they cover you. No matter if it is stormy, or clear the sea does not relent in its determination to reach the shore. Nor does my love relent from drawing you to me. Pulling you into the current, until you fully immerse yourself and trust in it enough to float and flow with it. Rising with your face to me, so that I can warm you to the core of your being.
It is transformational this sea of my love. It brings peace amidst the noise of life. It is a treasure worth running towards. It is worth the fanfare of dunes and flowers and sand that glows. It is worth the wind announcing its presence, and the fish dancing along the shore. All of it is an invitation to step into the ocean and be saturated. Come to the sea.