April 25, 2019
This morning I am waking up in an off-season beach rental, with a cup of caramel flavored coffee in my hand. The early morning sun is streaming onto my propped up feet and I can see that even with a good rinsing, I still have beach sand and tiny pebbles on my feet. As for my coffee, when it comes to mugs, size matters! I like a big mug. It has to be big enough, but not too big. But I dislike the jumbo ones, because the coffee goes cold too quickly. I am a mug snob.
The sun arose and lit up the room with its wake up call. There is no sleeping in at the beach. Even black out curtains won’t prevent its strong alarm, and so I get up to find a favorite chair by the window to write.
God is working something out in me. My journey through the recent Lenten season, when I woke up every morning to post a Lent devotional on my church’s Face Book page, has left me wanting more. I want the discipline of sitting down to write every morning. I want the first thoughts of the day to be focused on scripture. I want to feel the Holy Spirit moving through words, images, fingertips on keyboard, and gazing out my window and looking at the water’s edge where I live in the Outer Banks in North Carolina.
Today I am literally on the water’s edge. The Atlantic Ocean is right outside my open sliding glass door. My daughter and I have “evacuated” to this beach house to escape the repairs to a broken sewer line that are being done on my home by the sound. I can hear the waves and the calls of the seagulls searching for their morning meal. There has always been something calming and inspirational for me whenever I stand on the beach and gaze out at the infinite edge of the ocean. I take deep breaths of salt air and immediately feel centered. God is so present to me by the sea, and has been ever since I was a little girl growing up on the beaches of New Jersey and Delaware.
Writing the daily Lent Devotionals was purely by accident and not by design. After preaching on Ash Wednesday, my music director paid me a high compliment by suggesting that I post the suggestions I had made in my sermon on the 7 Lenten Disciplines. So the next morning I got up, sat in my chair by the window overlooking the marina that leads out to the Albemarle Sound, and cut and pasted. Lo and behold, people asked for a daily reminder of Lenten practices, and thus a 40 day journey began. I was suddenly on task to write something every morning, and when Easter arrived, I realized that God was calling me to continue this discipline in another format.
And so here we are, at water’s edge, looking for hope. A lifetime of standing at water’s edge has led me to appreciate the moment of leaving everything behind and staring out onto a body of water full of possibility, meaning and purpose. I sorted out my relationships, my frustrations, my failures, and my calling while walking the East Coast beaches. Here is where contentment lies.
“At Water’s Edge” is a place you can come to find the peace you lack, the answers you need, and the comfort of searching the horizon and finding a friend. God meets us here to take our hand and lead us through our day. I hope this blesses you as much as it blesses me.
And while I had no plan that first day of writing to spend the next 40 days producing a daily devotional, it appears that it was God’s plan all along.
Our Old Testament friend Jeremiah stood at the edge of Jerusalem and watched it’s destruction at the hands of the Babylonians. The Israelites had fallen into idol worship and were far away from God. Jeremiah and his people were carried away into exile, leaving the place that they loved. Yet, even then, he wrote these words:
Jeremiah 29:11 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
11 For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.
God has a plan for you. Let’s find it together at water’s edge.