For me, visiting the beach is always like watching a theatrical production. There’s something about the atmosphere that sobers me with a truth I cannot express. Words fail me when it comes to relating all that it does for my heart. It’s not just in the salty air or the sound of the thunderous waves, although those set the gorgeous scene of the show that enchants me. I always find though that it’s not always just the words said or the places seen, and a lot of the messages are hidden between the lines. The things I don’t even usually realize until I’m nestled back in the comfort of my own bed.
For me, everything plays a part. Even the seemingly insignificant details must be taken into account when interpreting the real meaning of the story. A giant bag of m&ms, the way the sun filtered through the blinds in the morning, cleaning the mirror in the bathroom, the blue hand soap, my over-sized pajama shirt. It all matters; even though to the rest of the world they are but objects that make up a day of a vacation, for me they are the symbols that tell a story of where my heart is in this moment in time. And I always count on the beach to be the setting of my most epic tales of the heart.
In just a few short days, I found that it’s easier to laugh in the ocean because it reminds me that in comparison to all that is out there, I am quite small, not insignificant, but small. The world does not revolve around me and for someone like me, that’s a comfort. I can laugh there because none of my problems seem so big when placed next to something as massive as the sea. It reminds me of my Father, whose heart for me is a lot bigger than even that vast ocean.
Truth is in the rain clouds that hover over the waves. Although they may be cast as the villain, even in their intimidation, I cannot be swayed by them. The beauty of what they’ve tried to darken is only enhanced by their laughable threats. The ocean, the sand, the shells, the line where the sky meets the sea is still breathtaking and can even mold their beauty around the so-called storm. I find myself hoping that my faith can do the same. That it is not changed by the weather, but interacts with the clouds in such a way that even they are made beautiful.
Or the city at night, when it’s flooded with the casted extras, I find that in in the moments where I’m burying my head in laughter, walking the shoreline or seeing things that make my heart break, I am reminded that I am not alone. That at any moment, one of those people in the crowd can easily enter my life and play a more significant role than anticipated. It reminds me that the writer is still in charge, it teaches me that I cannot become too casual in my part, and sometimes things that shake us happen and we remember that conflict is always apart of the story; and in some ways, even if it seems distant at first, it will affect your life. And you get to decide how.
Some come home from their vacation, throw their bags on the bed and are resolved to nodding their head that it was a good trip and continuing on with life; I, however, am not that person. Because the details, the moments where my heart shifted, moments where I let go, moments where I saw the face of God and didn’t even recognize it until later, these are the things that shift the seasons. These are the tides that change the placement of my life’s shoreline and I am gradually changed. Never to be relived, but always affecting the outcomes of other days. Trips with significant people at significant times matter; even if you don’t understand it fully. Because who I am today, is not who I was even yesterday and tomorrow I will say the same.
The message between the lines, the one that I kept hearing, in the sounds of that night in the street, the day by the ocean, the waitress behind the counter, or the roads that took us there and brought us home all spoke one thing that: every single day matters. The moments the fleeting seconds of joy, silence or the simple act of breathing..they matter. And if they didn’t…I wouldn’t be here. Somehow all of this means my part in the world is bigger than I’ve imagined. And as the miniscule details of such matter to me, I am reminded that my vision in that is nothing short of a view of my Father’s heart in Matthew 10:30. The number of hairs on my head is significant to Him, so it’s no surprise that all of these things now seem to matter to me. He speaks in the details. This weekend, he wrote a piece that played out by the sea and I am humbled in awe and grateful for my part.