Monday, December 2, 2013

DANCING FREELY



This is written by a good writer friend of mine in UK. Sorry I do not have any ocean photos to go with this but I know you will be encouraged by this piece! Marijo
10:06am Dec 2



Dancing freely


One of the blessings of living here is that within a ten minute walk I can be on the beach at Totland Bay. When we moved here almost nine years ago, God gave me the verse: “(S)he who lives by the shore of the sea will be a shelter for ships” (Genesis 49:13) one of the blessings Jacob gave, this one to the tribe of Zebulun. In the past God has given me at least two more of these blessings as prophecies for friends at different stages of their lives.

Though I normally thrive on offering a safe place to someone who is storm-tossed, there comes a time when I need that for myself. Like today. 2013 has been a difficult year from beginning to end.

Mum's death at the end of January, together with that of a friend, John from MS; then the death of our former Chaplain at Carisbrooke Priory, Chris Lane, and this past week, Russell's Aunt Barbara.

These losses, combined with my recent tonsillectomy and the secondary infection, have meant that it's my ship that is in need of a haven.

So as I often do at difficult times, I headed for the beach today, knowing that at the end of the week, the wind is due to change direction and come from the north. Being a visual learner and communicator, when I walk at times like this, I try to listen for God speaking to me in whatever way he chooses, often through creation. As I reached the beach, I found that it was one of the lowest tides we experience and it was fully out. The newly-washed beach revealed the stunning patterns creating by the movement of the water and I so-wished I had a camera to hand.

As I walked, three images impressed themselves upon me, each with a spiritual lesson to apply. The first was some dark red/brown seaweed, rooted to the beach but lying lifelessly in long thin strands on the wet sand. As I thought this over, I realised that only on the returning tide would this seaweed float and dance freely. True to my reasoning as I looked along the water's edge that's exactly what was happening and I thought of how wonderful that must look to anyone with an underwater view. Dancing freely. And my heart lifted at the thought of those I have loved and lost, including my twin and my child, now dancing freely in eternity.

The second sight was more sobering, as I climbed across the pebbles at the high-tide mark, a number of small trees had been deposited by the sea, torn from some place on the land, the remains of their roots clearly visible. These trees were never going to live again, not even if the water carried them out to sea. They were dead. 

Sight number three was more joyous as Hector a brown and white Spaniel bounded down the steps adjacent to the Old Lifeboat House. He couldn't wait to get to “his” beach, and he ran ahead, then back to his owner who finally allowed him down onto the sand. He must hate the period May- October when he is banned from this place. My final memory of Hector is of him out in the water, swimming freely, thoroughly enjoying himself. He would have a lot of shaking to do to get dry later.

These may seem some disparate images, but for me today, they all spoke of life and death, of the fact that perhaps only beyond death when we are enveloped by God's eternal love, we shall truly dance freely, like the seaweed I had seen. Our physical lives are more like the trees, in that one day we shall be uprooted from mortal life and this cannot be renewed. And Hector? Well he just exudes the joy of living, which we sometimes capture in the here and now, but will do so continually in eternity.

As I walked up from the beach, I noticed the trees and shrubs bearing the last of the golden glory of their autumn foliage, in what has been a spectacular year. Shorter days, winds and frost will denude it further, until winter fully arrives. These trees are still dying back, conserving energy, waiting until the sun returns and the cycle of growth begins again.

Anne Linington 
December 2013.

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