8:18

Bathing in beauty

Bathing in beauty

The waves have become liquid silver.

It’s a mid-morning effect of a bright, unadulterated light on the surf.  The radiance of the reflection is so bright that it makes anything standing against it a silhouette.  I watch people entering the tide quickly become two-dimensional, dark shapes.

The light is so piercing, when I take the photos, I have to hold up my phone and blindly shoot.  I’m surprised and happy that some have turned out.  I even discover that this is the very moment Bigfoot goes surfing, hidden in the glare.  He’s one smart mythical beast.

The interplay of light on the waves and the sky, regardless of the time of day, is almost too much beauty to take in.

A C.S. Lewis quote comes to mind:

We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words—to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it.

This is my experience every time I come to a beach.  As I walk in the surf, I want to somehow absorb the beauty and tranquility of the scene.  To have it imprint me.  Not just to wade into the liquid light like the birds along the edge, but have the light come into me.

Then, I think about what Jesus promises to embed within us:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. (John 14:27)

These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. (John 15:11)

I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10)

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.  (John 8:12)

Peace, joy, life, light.  Just for starters.  Add to those power and presence and purpose.  Through all of these: a deep and abiding love.  Not simply set before us, like a shimmering sea, to occasionally splash in.  But integrated into the makeup of our redeemed, reborn spirits, like hydration to a physical body.  They’re a part of our spiritual chemistry.

The next morning, I am up early, watching the sun rise behind scattered clouds. Others also walk the beach, frequently standing in awe of the display of glory.

How glad I am to have that glory already radiating in my soul.

O the deep, deep love of Jesus
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean
In its fullness over me!

Underneath me, all around me,
Is the current of your love
Leading onward, leading homeward
To your glorious rest above!

Have thoughts about this?  I’d love to hear them.

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Bruce Van Patter

As a freelance illustrator, graphic recorder, and author, Bruce is on a lifelong journey to delight in the handiwork of the Creator. And he’s always ready for fellow travelers.