Some years back we had the wonderful experience of visiting Hawaii. It was a pretty big deal for this country girl who had never even flown on a plane before! We got to do all the tourist things like visiting the open air market, touring the pineapple fields and a very moving visit to Pearl Harbor. But the main attraction was, of course, the lovely sandy beaches and the beautiful ocean views. Falling asleep to the roar of the ocean and waking to the lapping waves was beyond amazing.
Our trip was with my husband's brother and his wife. The two guys didn't waste any time hitting the water, which was warm - a vast difference from the ocean waters of the Pacific Northwest! I watched for a while with my sister-in-law before she made the move. The water looked so inviting. I finally put my brave face on and ventured in. The beach we were staying at was a private beach miles from the tourists and a bit less user friendly. The shore was less gradual and the waves were a bit bigger. I splashed around a bit before the overwhelming fear hit. I didn't come all these miles just to drown in the ocean! Faced with sink or swim, I decided to relax into the waves rather than fight them, to rise and fall with them. And that I did, until my husband came to hold on to me, and hand me a boogie board to float with...
For an edge of the pool girl, by nature, it would be much easier to remain there, on the edge. But compassion calls out and His love compels me to move. Love says ignore the stale smoke and endless complaining and really listen to the hurting neighbor still in her housecoat mid afternoon. Love says visit the widow in the nursing home even though you don't really know her or know what you will say. Love says gather up all the dirty dishes in the tiny trailer with no current running water even though your head is pounding and even if she asks you to take them home in her garbage can. Love says don't just scratch the surface: Get wet, dive in, go deep.
Getting wet, diving in, and going deep, looks different for us all - a place out of our comfort zone, a place where love stored up is poured out; a place of not being able to do it in our own strength, a place where God dwells in us, with us and takes us deeper.
Going deep is letting go - and when we let go...we are held. We float in total surrender and relaxation. We go deep and we find peace waiting there for us.
The waves crash in, out and in again. I remain on shore with fear and trepidation.
There is beauty before me, compassion within.
One toe in, one toe out.
I wade in deeper, the shoreline becomes distant.
Floating freely, I find peace in surrender.
Love through me.
Thank you for following along for this three part series - praying we all get wet more often, shake off fear more easily, dive in more readily, let go and love deeply more eagerly.
"I believed Him on the shore but I knew Him in the deep."
(Quote attributed to both Angie Smith and Donald Miller)
"...The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love."