Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Shallows pt. 2


Almost of its own accord, my body propelled itself forward, submerging beneath the Waves, which folded in on each other as they closed above my head. For a moment I held my eyes clenched shut, afraid to open them; afraid I’d made the wrong choice. Slowly my lids fluttered open and I beheld the endless Depths which yawned before me. There was a calmness within the Water; a calm which soothed my anxieties and steadied my frantic heart. As I hung suspended in the Water’s embrace, I discovered that I could breathe beneath its surface. The Water traced down my nostrils and flooded my lungs. It went down smooth and warm rather than wreaking a burning sensation as one would expect. Once the water infiltrated the hollows of my chest it began to bleed through my porous lungs, spilling forth over my ribs and spreading throughout my limbs. The inward washing brought revival to the worn sinews and weak muscles of my weary bones. New energy sprouted within.
With slight trepidation I cautioned a stroke with my arms, testing the feel of movement. My courage bubbled like the air pockets which wove their way around my fingers and journeyed upwards.
Was it upwards?
All sense of direction had been lost, with no concept of discerning up from down or left from right. The only direction remaining was simply forward.
With more confident strides I pulled myself through the deep Blue.
Shadows began to form before me as I slid weightless through the Water. They moved, twisting from unrecognizable shapes into morphed silhouettes. At first, I perceived it to be a wall erected below the surface, but as I drew near the wall began to grow extensions and reached out jagged fingers towards me. Clams and urchins clung to the crevices and ledges which jutted from the solid core. Light from an unknown source spilled over the dark form, illuminating all its dimensions. The wall was clothed like royalty in the finest array of colours; fish of every size, shade, and design dodged between the cracks and fed from its hands. The limitless breadth of it could not be captured by means of measurement. I remained motionless for a moment, absorbing the brilliance of the beauty before me. The wall plunged far below, deeper than the eye could see. I gently caressed the pocked coral and held myself in wonderment of such majestic display.
I followed the wall and was enraptured by the minute details – some so small I would miss them if I weren’t searching, and many more for certain I’d mistakenly bypassed. A crab the size of my thumbnail scurried out from the overhang in a narrow canopy of rocks and a fish no bigger than my finger glinted golden with a vibrant blue tail.
Mesmerized, I was ignorant of the arching shadow which crept over me and only when it loomed against the mighty wall was I stirred from my oblivion...

(To Be Continued...)

The Waters of God are calm and soothing; reassuring and accepting. There is a peace and tranquility that enfolds as you surrender yourself in its embrace. Breathing deep of the Water brings resurrection of life to the distraught or heavy laden and births hope to triumph despair.
It’s so easy to lose yourself in the wonder and awe of God’s character. The deeper you go, the more you experience the levels of who He is and what He can do; you come face to face with a royalty lathered in rich beauty, you discover a God who is incomparably vast yet mindful of the most delicate details, and you realize the impossibility of attempting to limit Him in any way.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Shallows

The cool Water kissed the top of my feet as it rolled in with the gentle tide. I buried my toes in the soft sand, enjoying the consistency of the Water’s slow rhythm. Every day I would come to stand in the frothy Waves, settling comfortably in the calm predictability of the shallows.
Upon a morning when I happened to chance a look over the expanse of the Water before me, a single Wave seemed to beckon – not as a taunt, but as a subtle encouragement or whispered invitation. I was captivated by this oddity and found my legs slowly carrying me forward in response. The shallows licked at my ankles as the Water rose and began to climb up my calves. At first, I didn’t register that the Water was now hugging my waist, so fixed was I in my trance. The Wave continued to draw me out, though not forcefully, yet something inside me found it impossible to resist. Forward still I pressed.
As the Water splashed over my shoulders, my concentration was broken long enough for me to realize where I stood. My heart beat ferociously as I gauged the distance I had traveled from land, then turned to assess the enormity of that which stretched before me. I could turn back and be welcomed by the comfort of the shallows once more, or I could commit to the uncertainty of the depths which stretched ahead. Panic seized me momentarily while my mind wrestled with the two choices, but then my eye caught sight of the Wave again. So serene and peaceful, I heard it whisper my name. Was it my name? Closing my eyes, I listened again, holding my breath. Faint, and barely audible, it seemed to sing my name, calling me forward...

(To Be Continued...)

I’ve found it can become ritualistic to wake up every morning and become comfortable with standing in the shallows. From above water you can see what is happening, what is coming your way, and because of your position you feel you have more control over your situations. The shallows are calm... predictable... safe. Here you don’t have to worry about taking risks, or entering into the unknown. Sure, things appear pleasant and even enjoyable, but by standing in the shallows there’s no movement, no progression towards something greater, no concept of anything beyond where you stand. Your vision is narrow and your experiences are minimal.

God is urging us to remove ourselves from the safety nets we have wrapped ourselves in and encourages us to step forward with Him into new experiences. He doesn’t force Himself upon us, but rather reaches out in love and waits for us to make the choice – do we stay where we are and live comfortably, or, in an act of faith, do we take the step to go deeper with Him?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

By the Artist's Hand

The Artist picks up the paintbrush with the experienced ease of One whose fingers have created many masterpieces. Though the canvas before Him is blank, He already knows how the curling swells of the brush will work to display His vision for this piece. The paintbrush submits to His seasoned hands willingly, following His direction with guided strokes. The paintbrush is unaware of everything the Artist wishes to express through this piece and finds itself dipped in unexpected colours as the Artist confidently continues to paint His vision. Arcs and swirls, stippled lines and blending colours begin to reveal pieces of a greater picture. The depths of the shadows and the dimensions of the shading add life and definition to the forming shapes.
As the paintbrush works in obedience to the Artist’s leading, He can create exquisite displays of art beyond replication – but on its own, the paintbrush lays dormant. It cannot create on its own – cannot coax the colours into such perfect array or steady itself to master the most intricate details. If the paintbrush opposes the vision and direction of the Artist, the painting becomes unrecognizable as the beautiful colours smear into distorted streaks. It is only by the hand of the Painter that the masterpiece takes form.

Lord, let 2011 be Your blank canvas, and I the willing paintbrush for You to use to fulfill Your vision for this year.