The Sea

The sea.

That’s what I think of when I think of God.

Is that unusual? Perhaps.

I’m not a fan of swimming. I love everything about the water, except swimming in it. I have too much fear in my heart, too much worry. I always tell my friends that I like the idea of swimming, I just can’t bear to step off that edge, the one that separates me from standing in water to treading water. I can’t bring myself to do it.

Something about stepping off that edge.

You know what’s interesting though – once I step over the edge, I’m not sinking. I’m not falling. I’m not dying. The water suspends me, supports me, lifts me. Holds me.

The sea. That’s what I think of when I think of God.

Constant. Vast. Powerful. Capable of all things, from sustaining life to ending it. Capable of eroding great structures down to sand, of forming new lands. Calm, glassy, clear. Forceful, majestic, thunderous.

I can hear Him, in the lilting song of the waves. Crash, rumble, silence, hum. Crash, rumble, silence, hum.

Men are haunted by the days they spent adrift after a sinking, horrified by memories of deaths, sea monsters from the deep, the blistering sun, the parching salt, the sting of the sea spray and the aching false hope of rescue.

And yet…the sea. It calls to us, something about taming this wild unknown reaches deep into our very core, at its rawest and most impure form, and calls to us. Beckoning, siren singing, tracing our skin with barely there fingers, giving us goosebumps at the sheer awesomeness of it all.

The sea. That’s what I think of when I think of God. Crash, rumble, silence, hum.

Standing on the shore, watching my best friend brave the chilly sting of the salty rolls, the orange sun orb behind me and nothing but the blue in front of me. A shimmering, blue curtain, billowing in the wind, lifting and descending to form cloaks around the small figures dotting the fabric, spitting them out on the other side of the watery veil. I can watch him as he surfs the crests and rides the shore-breaks, reminded of our own mortality and the sea’s forever-ness. Never ending, never dying. Regenerating infinitely.

I have too much fear in my heart to step off the edge, even though I know I will be suspended, held.

I fight the waves rather than ducking into them, taking them with full force splash across my chest arms spread protectively against salt and sand and bruised egos. Duck into them, roll with them, dive deep.

You’re never safe from those waves unless you dive deep. You’ll never fully experience the ocean unless you take the breath and make the plunge.

Coming out of the water, he drips when he shakes his head, dark spots forming on the towel where the water droplets fall, cool wet against hot dry.

Those little drops are tantalizing, but I’m too afraid.

The sea?

God.

Vast. Powerful. Tantalizing. Majestic. Capable of all things.

God. God! He is alive! He is present! He makes himself known to us, all of creation sings His praise.

Crash, rumble, silence, hum. Crash of the cymbals, the rumble of the drums, the silence in which we can hear His breath, the hum of the Earth bowing before Him.

I can hear Him in the sea, you know. And I can see Him. My friend can feel Him out there. Spray, a kiss to the face. Rolling crests, an enveloping hug. The breeze, the salt, the rush of catching a ride, my friend can feel Him.

I stand in wonder on the shore. Too afraid to enter the water, but not too afraid to enter into His beckoning arms. Never too afraid of God. God suspends, God holds, God cradles.

I stand in wonder on the shore, shouting with glee at the tickling of my toes, a perfectly formed shell, a flick of a tail on the horizon, a swoop of a bird past my ear. Little gifts given to me to make me happy, to say I love you, to say I made this for you.

The sea.

That’s what I think of when I think of God.

Unusual? Perhaps.

But that’s what I think of.

The sea.

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