Waves crash relentlessly against the beaten shoreline, sculpted by the eternal sea. The character of the enduring water’s edge is ever changing and chiseled anew every six to eighteen seconds with the tides. The sea never sleeps or slumbers, and its creative forces always powerfully moving across the earth. Everywhere the ocean restructures, shifts, changes, and rearranges the contours of the shore. The water’s impact can be ruthless and unforgiving at times—wave—after battering wave—after battering wave.
A cleansing exchange occurs during each thrusting tidal sweep across the slivers of shoreline. The high tide inundates and washes over the sometimes filthy shore, sweeping its sanitizing effects into outlets within its reach. The in-coming tide removes coastline debris and replaces the clutter with sand, rocks, driftwood, or other debris. An unceasing, never-ending displacement carried to the depths of a churning ocean in formidable currents.
Although occasions as a beachcomber have been minimal in my life, there were special moments with the sea. Moments when I knew there was Someone greater than me. Particularly, the 2008 photography sand dune trek along Sandbridge Beach in northern Virginia. My hiking buddy and I enthusiastically explored the inlets and coves, on the hunt for washed up sea treasures. Our sandy discovery ramblings drew us to our knees or on our bellies for sand in the bottle and rusty old cans photographs. The secluded setting behind the huge sand cliffs provided two hours of privacy for the sun-drenched treasure seekers. The continual roar of the breakers and smell of the ocean carried on the sea breeze only a short distance away. Our rendezvous with sand and the sea’s possessions is a wonderful treasure hunt experience buried deep within my memory.
Phillip Keller (1920-1997) is one of my favorite authors. In fact, I collect his books. Sea Edge (1985) has been an invaluable resource for this blog post. A man who yearned to know God deeply in his soul, Keller is the author of 66 books and devotionals.
One may be shrouded with morning sea mist while walking along the shoreline, but surely there is an overwhelming sense of God’s presence and Someone greater than you or me—everywhere. Just like the tide’s cleansing ability to wash away the sea edge debris, so too is Christ’s purifying power to carry away the filth in my life. A re-shaping of both and an eternal unfolding of love—a reassurance of His presence.
Images from the 2008 discovery beach excursion:
Thanks for crawling around in the sand with me. More seascape photographs can be seen at www.corinthrose.com under This N’ That.