Questions are Good

Ocean Views

Posted by on Jan 24, 2014 in Children, Questions are Good | 16 comments

Little Boy on the Beach at Sunset in Oceanside- September 30, 20

 

Kneeling next to me is a father and his two sons, one son looks about four years old and the other seven. They’re both wearing UV protected swimwear and hats. Any exposed skin has been generously coated with hand-streaked layers of creamy sunscreen. The three of them sit close together in the wet sand building a castle.

Twenty yards down from us I see a brown-skinned little boy playing in the ocean. He enthusiastically boogie boards, swims and snorkels all by himself. He’s only five. I know, because I asked his dad who sits a distance away in the shade behind me. The beach is obviously this little guy’s playground. I watch him maneuver between tourists oblivious to their inquisitive stares. One after another slow down to admire his skill – and most give a quick scan of the area to see who’s supervising him.

Meanwhile, the castle takes shape. Dad and the older boy commiserate about the architectural design while the younger one fiddles with a bucket next to them. Dad slides a shovel over and begins helping him fill the bucket.

I watch the wheels turn on each of the three boy’s faces. I observe play and relationships.

I think about fathers.

I ponder.

Is one father a little too neglectful and obtuse or is the other too over-protective and controlling?

I realize I’ve found myself accusing God of the same things. Sometimes he seems distant and removed – leaving us to fend for ourselves in the angry sea of life, silent. Other times he seems restrictive and narrow – controlling. His rules suffocate creativity and strangle our individuality.

Perhaps the better observation might be – one father clearly trusts all he has taught his self-directed young son and gives him freedom to build on what he’s learned, even freedom to make mistakes. The other father understands the value of intimacy and is intuitively aware of each son’s unique personality and development.

Thunderous waves effortlessly roll in and out from the shore.

The sun teases me with it’s stationary appearance on the distant horizon.

Our Father watches and whispers affirmation. He releases us to play on his beach.

 

“That they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for in him we live and move and have our being, as even some of your own poets have said, we are indeed his children” Acts 17:27-28

 

Happy to link up with Laura today.

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The Ride

Posted by on Apr 13, 2013 in Humility, Married Life, Play, Questions are Good | Comments Off on The Ride




 

Because I love him, and since he asked, I agreed to ride bikes with my husband today. To be clear, we love bike rides – just not down our long road and not on the busy streets I ordinarily drive my car.

Riding a bike on the same street I’ve driven down forever gave an entirely different perspective on things. For instance, I never realized how many houses had dogs, barking dogs. I never noticed the gradual hills  and long meandering turns. Today I saw newly planted flowers and budding trees I usually speed right past. And the smell of fresh cut grass was intoxicating.

I also didn’t realize someone lived at the end of our street just over the guardrail. I must drive past his humble camp every day. His tent, neatly stacked bags, and camp stove were pitched in a grove of weeds. I found myself wondering who he was and how long he’d lived there. I wondered where he came from.  

Perched on top of my humble bike seat – secretly hoping no one I knew would see me I was forced to ponder how valuable my bike might be to this person camping in such an undesirable place.

Each morning I ask God to search my heart, to keep it soft, pliable, and open to his voice. But each day I find myself safely belted into my own driver’s seat racing past a world of needs. How many individuals are camped nearby in a need I could easily meet – just beyond the guardrail of my life?

God’s voice is soft. I’m grateful He spoke to me today. I’m glad I took the challenge to venture down the path of uncomfortable and unfamiliar. 

God’s voice is never accusatory. His voice is gentle and purpose-driven. He loves indiscriminately. We’re never beyond rescuing and reshaping. Today I thought I was pleasing my husband and exercising my body. God did that and so much more for me. I’m left wondering what else I miss when I move too fast. I feel selfish for more. My heart aches to feel humanity the way God feels it every day – every moment. My eyes want to see.

The exhilaration of my racing heart and burning thighs felt good. My heart and soul also crave exhilaration. What a marvelous mystery – to be fully spent by slowing down.
 
And by the way – his bike was blue and his name, James.

Luke 10:27 “He said, “That you love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer, muscle and intelligence—and that you love your neighbor as well as you do yourself.” The Message

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