The slow, rhythmic waves of the ocean slapped the eastern seaboard. Ten-year-old Timothy ran down the shore, stomping on the edge of where land and water kissed.
“Don’t go too far,” yelled Greg, Timothy’s father, from afar. “I want to be able to see you at all times.”
Seagulls danced dutifully in the sky above as the sun shot its rays through the early morning mist. Since his wife, Jean, died five years ago, Greg and Timothy’s routine did not change. They made their annual trek to the same sandy spot near the ocean that swallowed her. Greg always wanted to honor her memory -- and longed to understand the reason behind her tragic end.
With both hands on his hips, Greg stood as if he were guarding the beach from some unknown prey. He gazed out over the water and focused his eyes at the point where he saw Jean struggle against a current that caused her to bob up and down. Then, he vividly recalled her last attempt at survival before she vanished inside the liquid monster’s grasp. And, like previous years, Greg succumbed to the guilt he endured that day for not being able to help her.
“Is it time, Dad?” asked Timothy, who suddenly appeared at Greg’s side.
Greg took a moment to compose himself. He knew that Jean was with the Lord, but he wished she had not gone so soon -- and he may never understand why she died like she did.
“Yes, Tim. It’s time.”
Greg and Timothy walked to the shoreline and stopped. Greg took out a piece of paper from his pants pocket and read aloud Jean’s favorite Bible passage, Psalm 139:7-10:
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
As in years past, Greg placed the paper upon the water along with a yellow dandelion Timothy plucked from his romp along the coast. While they watched the two items wash out to sea, Greg and Timothy hugged each other in a long embrace and vowed again to return.
Reflection: No matter where we go, God is with us. If we ascend unto heaven or find ourselves in the depths of the deepest sea, God is there. If we travel the universe far and wide, God will follow. We can never escape God’s presence nor can we hide from His love.
“Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him? Do not I fill heaven and earth?” Jeremiah 23:24
Every day, may we sense the presence of God who transcends all space and time -- who permeates all of life and death. Then, let us praise Him for His faithfulness to never leave us and for always being there.
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