Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Etched in Sand

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.

And I see this word here, staring at me so deeply etched.  So raw and plain for all to see.

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

Infinite power,

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.

And in its place

there is


because through confession, my slate is wiped clean


by the One who calms me