Our family often escapes to the Texas coast. Even though it is not a European riviera or a Caribbean island, it is just a half day’s drive for fresh seafood and “ocean” waves. Long walks in the surf as the sun rises or sets offer beauty, release, and cleansing.
As the spring winds and high tides stirred the coastal waters, I felt the deep questions and doubts of my soul rise and then fall again with the crashing and washing of the relentless waves.
God’s creative imagination over all creation and creatures is declared good. In the midst of the waves, I am reminded not only the authority and power of the Creator, but also the solitude and stillness that trust in God’s presence and provision can bring.
“You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, you still them.” Psalm 89:9Psalm 89:9
Doing our part for Earth care, we pick up trash on our walks. The morning high tide washed up some very interesting items like a barnacle-encrusted hard hat, buckets, a large metal light fixture, and or course all things plastic such as toothbrushes, flip flops and bottle caps. Actually, ten times more trash washes up on the coast of Texas than any other Gulf state and some 90% is plastic.
All that bending over and picking up someone else’s trash led me to take a serious look at my own inner stretch of beach. After my beach walking solitude and meditation, the Spirit prodded me with this question: “What washed up in you?” Something that was stuck endlessly floating around gathering barnacles? Or sitting so long unattended that it is covered with icky green moss? Broken bits of this and that? Of course my trash was apparent and needed to be dealt with honest confession and removal as only Christ the living Word of God can make happen.
You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.John 15:3
READ. John 21:1-19 is the Gospel for the upcoming third Sunday of Easter. Read it now before going through the practice of imagination.
IMAGINE. Take a mental walk along the shore. Feel the sand under your feet, the wind in your hair, and the salt spray on your face. Sit with your memories of special places at the beach, river, or lake and remember the beauty of creation, the refreshing of nature, and those moments of stillness and prayer. Hear the water rushing or the waves lapping.
What washes up on the beach of your soul?
In John’s Gospel story, Peter and some other disciples are preoccupied with fishing but catch nothing. When Jesus shows up on the shore and gives them new directions, they haul in a big catch. Although they don’t recognize Jesus at first, they listen to his directions and recognize him on the beach as they break bread together. Jesus takes Peter aside to show him what “washed up” on the shore besides the fish: a heart issue that needed cleansing. Jesus asked, “Do you love me more than these?”
Do you love the Lord your God more than these?
Talk over these questions with the Lord.
WORSHIP. Luke Parker, Sweet Surrender. https://youtu.be/OhdwIOnYVZs
PRAYER FOR PEACE.
In labor all creation groans till fear and hatred cease,
Till human hearts come to believe: In Christ alone is peace.
In labor all creation groans till prejudice shall cease,
Till every race and tribe and tongue in Christ will live in peace.
In labor all creation groans till rape and murder cease,
Till women walk by night unharmed and Christ is this world’s peace.
In labor all creation groans till false divisions cease,
Till enemies are reconciled in Christ who is our peace.