Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Waves of grace


We have begun a family tradition of spending Thanksgiving at the beach. It is a wonderful tradition. Just this week my mother and I chose a beach house and made the arrangements.

I grew up going to the beach and as soon as I could drive, I was down there almost every weekend. There was a time when I got a little off kilter if I was away from the ocean too long. My idea of heaven was to go all by myself with several new magazines, just me, the ocean, and the latest Glamour. But now, unfortunately, the circumstances of my life – ie, four small unswimming children - limit my excursions and if not for Thanksgiving, I would not even make it annually.



I was just lying in bed envisioning sitting in the water with my toes in the sand, surrounded by the vastness of the sea. I could see it all on my bedroom ceiling. The chorus to a praise song that I used to sing when I taught pre-K popped into my head:

Waves of mercy, waves of grace

Everywhere I look I see Your face

Your love has captured me

Oh my God this love, how can it be?


What fitting words for being at the ocean with the waves rolling over your toes. The Lord reveals himself in creation, and at no greater place than when I am standing at the shore. How can one not feel tiny, insignificant, while looking at the ocean? It puts me in my place. I am a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes (James 4:14).

Everywhere I look I see Your face.



And yet, the Creator of the ocean, of the sand, of the crabs that crawl along it and the dolphins that swim within it, of the microscopic plankton and the giant whales, who controls the moon and the waves and both stirs up and calms the storm, this God created me, redeemed me, justified me, reconciles me, and daily sanctifies me, the little vapor.

Oh my God this love, how can it be?


And more so, he does the same for my children, even littler vapors than myself. I have every reason to believe that even now he is capturing Shepherd, and capturing Eva Rose, and capturing Maggie, and capturing even little Ingram, claiming them as his own, his children of the Light who will overcome the darkness.


Waves of mercy, waves of grace.


When Shepherd was brand new I looked into his tiny face and told him, “Jesus died for you, baby” and burst into tears. It was as if I had heard the gospel for the first time. And because Christ already paid the price, I do not have to die for them. It would be in vain; their ransom has already been paid. Nor do they have to die. They shall have life everlasting.


Oh my God this love,
how can it be?



Everywhere I look I see Your face

It's 7:11 in the morning. My cryptic dreams are splintered by a three year old girl. "Knock knock Mommy! Wake up Mommy! I want candy." Soon her four year old big brother bounds - literally - into the room. "Hi Mom! You wake? I wuv you. I want cartoons." On the monitor I hear one, then two babies begin to cry. I stumble up, make one bottle of soy formula, two sippy cups of milk and one sippy cup of diluted juice. Soon all four of my children are in bed with me and the snoozing love of my life. Two are entranced by Curious George. One sucks on a toothpaste tube. I sniff the fuzzy head of the fourth and he rests his little hand on my cheek, then spits up on my shoulder. The husband snores. The waves of grace wash over me, knock me down, drown me.


Oh my God this love,

how can it be?



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