This past weekend, 30 women from our church went to the beach for a Women's Retreat. I was one of those 30.
Reach out and touch
Feel the pain,
Feel the joy
Feel the recovery.
The waves crash to the shore as we women stand facing the endless ocean with our troubles in our hands as so many stones.
Toss them away from you to be washed by the cleansing waves, we are told.
And so we stand, prayerfully, to toss the stones
one by one
into the great abyss that is the ocean.
We toss our cares away from ourselves, our puny, weak selves,
into the ever powerful waves of the ocean...
Into the ever powerful arms of God.
Sitting on the shore,
my bare feet feeling the coolness of the fall tide-wet sand,
I reach down with my finger and trace the words that have haunted me
the sins to be confessed and erased
and my fingers flit and glide through the soft substance
until my deepest hidden thoughts come to the surface.
What do I fear?
I fear failure
I fear the unknown
I fear the past, the present
and the future.
I fear that it all rests on my shoulders
This great burden of family,
This great blessing of family
This blessing that gives and gives but also
takes and takes
so very much.
Who am I to stand up under this weight alone?
As my head sinks to my knees in quiet supplication
In tearful pleading with the One who can handle it all
I see my fear for what it is
It is not a thing that can be handled or subdued by me
It is a lack that needs to be filled
It is the lack of
My toes clench, feeling the grainy sand between them.
And my hands touch
the rough edges of my FEAR feeling the grit of it under my fingernails.
And in the touching, in the probing,
the word starts to fade.
As I search my FEAR
And as I begin to accept it for what it is
that must be filled with
in the One who is EVER FAITHFUL
I see this FEAR, this word, this feeling
Raising my eyes to the never ending waves of the ocean
Set in place by an even more Powerful One
I confess my fear
And allow it to be nothing but what it really is
Nothing more than a word
etched in nothing more than sand.
by the One who calms me