I just got back from the beach today.
It was a perfect day – a breeze, warm sand, cool water, birds calling softly over the filtering country music playing in my ears, and the right amount of watermelon in my cooler.
Unfortunately, as I now sit and type, I am wincing from the pain of a thousand needles prickly sharp on the back of my thighs, blushing all the way up to the seat of my pants.
In other words, I burned myself really well.
Before I left the beach, I snapped the above photo of the hot afternoon sun – taken about one o’clock – and filtered it on my camera, knowing that without the right amount of adjustment it would just look like a pretty, but bright, blob.
As often as I have told you, readers, that the sea and the beach and the sand remind me of God, I have never failed to draw inspiration from this source of beauty, and I have found yet another morsel of wisdom in the blue green deep, lifted and deposited at my feet like a shell treasure.
Blinding, warm, life-giving, brilliant, sun.
Sun, we never thank you for all that you do – you change the seasons, you chase away the night, you strengthen the stems and stalks and feed the green. You warm the winter, you bronze the worker, you bless all who are kissed by your gaze.
Or do you?
For who made you, Sun?
Who holds you in the sky? Who keeps you at exactly the right spot in the universe so that you may bless and not burn us?
The true Sun.
Son of Man and Son of God, it is You who changes the seasons and chases away the night.
And in the same way that we need a filter to see the sun, we need to shade our sights from Your Glory.
We are told in the Old Testament that the Ark of the Covenant was held in the “Holy of Holies,” veiled and shrouded in total darkness.
Anyone who entered the Holy of Holies was also to be veiled and shrouded.
Still today, we have Catholics who veil themselves during Mass, prostrating themselves before the Holy of Holies that is now that Tabernacle, holding the Body and Blood of the Son.
Many ponder why Christ chose to enter the world as a baby born to a poor Jewish family, and after His Ascension, why He continues to make Himself present in something as simple as bread and wine.
Would we be able to stand Him any way else?
In becoming the most simple form, we are viewing Him through a filter, allowing us to make out shapes and details that we otherwise would hide our eyes from.
In the same way that it is blinding to stare at the sun, so too must we avert our eyes to Christ’s full glory.
Let us remember the Transfiguration, where Christ revealed Himself to His disciples – see how they shield themselves?
But this is not a post of discouragement.
While Sun is beautiful in the above photo, I know it will be even more beautiful when I can fully comprehend his power, might, and wrath.
In the same way, while my vision of Christ is more than enough for me, I know the day will come when I won’t even be able to stand in the presence of the Light.
My post today is a short one, readers, because my metaphor is an easy one.
Find inspiration anywhere – find God anywhere.
And for that matter, find God everywhere.
As we rise with the sun in the morning, let us also start our days with the Son.
As we smile and giggle under a multitude of sun-kisses, let us remember the Romance of the Son.
As our seasonal winters are warmed by the sun, let us take time to rejoice that our winter soul-struggles are melted in time, as well.
Lying on the beach today, the divine inspiration seeping into my pores with every beat of the sunrays, I am blissfully aware of one fact.
My soul has been in winter for some time now.
But, readers, I tell you this now –
I think it is beginning to thaw in the Son.