Safely Back To Shore
We arrive into Miami. Taxi to our hotel. It’s beautiful. As we’re checking in, my sister confirms that we have a balcony. “Oh, yes, Mrs. Harris.” Next she confirms in her “you may not know it, but I’m very important voice” that we are not on the elevator shaft. “Oh, no, Mrs. Harris. No elevator shaft.”
I don’t even know what that means, but I’m sure glad we’re not near it or on it or whatever it is that we don’t want.
I once stayed at a Super 8 next to the Omaha airport in which my children and I had to cross police tape to get to the breakfast bar. So asking about elevator shafts isn’t always my first thought.
We arrive to our room and my sister is concerned because she hears an elevator. Maybe it’s the service elevator, she ponders. “Is this bothering you? We can move. I will call them. Are you sure?”
I don’t hear anything. She wants this weekend to be perfect. For me.
And it was.
There’s a beautiful pool, but we can’t figure out why anyone’s there since just beyond the boardwalk there’s, you know, an ocean. We make our way down to the beach (and along the way my sister notices that she’s wearing her house-shoes instead of her flip flops, which was very special, but because she also walks like she’s a very important person—and I mean, she is a very important person – nobody notices. We find our chairs (and by find, I mean my sister hands a lady her credit card) and we open our books and we feel the warmth of the sun burning down.
And I breathe.
And then I go running. Barefoot. On the beach.
And I run and I run and I run and I have no idea how far I’ve gone or when I should stop, so I think to myself I’ll just run to the end and turn around and then I remember this isn’t a lake; I mean where does it end? Does it ever end? And how is it round? The earth, I mean. Where does it start to curve and how do we not just fall out and, God of all Gods, this is awesome.
I look out and I think sorry y’all, but this wasn’t some random “bang.” And if you’re some scientist-type who’s thinks you’re a heck of a lot smarter than I, then I will quote Pastor Doug and say OK, keep your bang theory, but answer me this…
Who lit the spark?
For something to go bang, there has to be a spark; something, someOne had to light the match.
So, anyway, I make a mental note. The next time Emma Claire and Coulter and I argue about who loves whom the most and just how great and massive that love is, I’m going to remember the ocean. I love you to the moon and back is not enough love for us. We love past all the planets and we love more than all the legos and more than 100 million cheetos and we have a lot of love and suddenly I’m very lonely for them.
Yes, the next time I will tell them that I love them to the ends of the ocean; more than all the waves and seashells and kernels of sand. And one day, I will bring them here.
And I will show them.
The waves crash to the shore, pounding and relentless and I didn’t grow up around water (I mean I’m pretty sure the De Queen lake doesn’t count) and I didn’t grow up swimming. I quit swimming lessons because our teacher advanced Matthew Buffington to the next level and held me back all because I couldn’t so some stupid dive. Whatever.
But I love the water and the feel of sand under my feet and the sun shining hot. I love how the waves crash into you on the way out; all pushing and working and swimming yet somehow still standing; but on your way back, the waves carry you and you quit striving and you just allow yourself to be carried.
It’s when we quit fighting and pushing and controlling and holding fingers clenched-tight and we say, OK, Lord, I’m ready to be carried.
That He carries us. Safely back to shore.