Monday, July 19, 2010

The Ocean

I unzipped the bag of laundry made dirty by eight days of camping. It smelled of damp fog, sand, smoke and sunscreen, the well-balanced aroma of time spent at the mouth of God’s great ocean. The days leading up to the trip were tearful and heavy with my son’s deepening understanding of the losses of adoption. My husband and I held him while he cried. He looked so small. But then we headed to the beach, and the beautiful thing about the ocean is that it is big- big enough to remind us that we are all indeed small. In the same way that we cannot say for sure where the blue of the water and the blue of the sky really meet or count the grains of sand that peacefully sift between our fingers, the ocean speaks in rhythmic waves of the breadth and breath of God. It was the perfect place for a lost boy and his mama.

I watched him run with abandon and a wide grin through the shallow water away from me with all the confidence of a soul at rest in the arms of his Father, which is where, of course, we were. When we were waiting to adopt Mister I found a quote that spoke to me and just today fell out of its hiding place in Leviticus. Madam Jeanne Guyon says, “If knowing the answers to life’s questions is absolutely necessary to you, then forget about the journey. You will never make it, for this is a journey of unknowables- of unanswered questions, enigmas, incomprehensibles and most of all, things unfair.” And I was reminded of a preacher once who questioned the value of questioning God. He suggested, and I think he may have been right, that we would find the answers to our ‘Why’ questions wholly unsatisfying. In the same way that the pain of an injury is not relieved in the least by the surgeons explanation of anatomy and physiology, our hurts can not be soothed by explanation, but rather by the tender, and often silent, hand of God.

So I watched, with deep, deep satisfaction, as he ran and smiled and splashed. And I was thankful.

“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom of God!
How unsearchable his judgments, his paths beyond tracing out!
Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has ever been his counselor?
Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?
For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.”
Romans 11:33-36

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