Riptides

One of the best times on the beach is early morning. You may spot a runner or two, a few shell collectors, some slow moving coffee drinkers……but mostly the beach is clear. All you’ll hear is the sound of the waves crashing onto the sand….. and the sea birds close to shore. IMG_4231

The lifeguard tower is empty. No need for a rescuer in the early mornings on this beach.

But when the crowds come, the lifeguard stares out at the water. He watches the ocean, looking for the swimmers and the floaters and the heads bobbing up and down with the waves.

When the riptides are dangerous, the lifeguard stands tall in the tower to make sure no one is caught in them. The whistle shrills loudly when he spots a swimmer too far out. He waves the red flag motioning the swimmer to come toward shore. If the swimmer ignores the warning, the lifeguard waves the flag passionately and blows the whistle over and over. Sometimes the lifeguard climbs down the tower and runs to the edge of the water. He waves his flag forcefully while blowing the whistle until the ocean dweller obeys.

He is guarding lives after all.

Liquid

This Place

This is a special place.

It’s not just the beauty here. Or the sound of the ocean here. Or the sunshine and the salty air here.

It’s not the awayness or that I don’t wear shoes and I feel the sand in my toes here.

It’s not just that I’m resting here and not working here.

It’s all those things but not just those things.

It’s the love here. From the people here. For fifteen years here.

It’s God here and what He does here.

My heart is especially open here in this place. Because of all those things. The beauty and the rest and the people and the time spent. The conversations and fun and laughter.

There are tears here too. And sadness sometimes. And hard stuff.

Because real life has happened and the beautiful sunrises and the waves and finding seashells doesn’t change that.

And the ocean won’t take away real life.

But to be with people that love you and know you and that you feel at home with in this place…..this place you love….. is good.

And it can heal you.

Because these people you love…..they love you back.

And God uses these people and this place to show you His love.

Because when you walk beside the ocean and the waves crash around your feet and you look toward the horizon and can’t see the end of it……….you see the vastness of it all. That God created it.

God feels big and that feels good.

And He loves you with an everlasting love.

In response to the Discover Challenge Finding Your Place.

Rising

I’ve always loved morning time. It’s my time…….mostly.

Recently I started running in the mornings. I begin when it’s dark but by the time I’m finished the sun is peeking over the edge of the small hills on my country road.

A sunrise is another beginning. Another chance. Another day to love and laugh and cry. Another day to live like it matters.

A sunrise could be the start of a brand new way of living. It brings a whole bunch of new opportunities. It could bring laughter and joy and forgiveness. And healing and compassion.

A sunrise is hope rising and light shining into our darkest seasons.

Since I’ve begun this new thing I’ve seen more beautiful sunrises in the past 6 months than I have my entire life.

The sunrises have been there all along. I just wasn’t there to see them.

I don’t want to miss anymore sunrises.

But as for me, I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more.   Psalm 71:14

In response to the Weekly Photo Challenge Ascend.