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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Healing Place

 I stare out at the view in front of me: majestic mountains rise from the deep waters of Resurrection Bay; waves lap the shore with increasing intensity as the steady tide rolls in. As I sit in the rocking chair on that spacious porch, I take it all in. Rocking in rhythmic motion, I think of all the times I have come here. Memories come flooding back from when I was ten and eleven years old - I have had some happy times here: running along the rocky beach and collecting the water-smoothed stones; watching a dead jellyfish that had been stranded on the shoreline; observing the painting class as the artists brushed color onto a blank canvas, making it come alive with creative strokes. I have gone berry picking in the nearby woods and sat around many a smokey campfire at the neighboring campground. Yes...those happy times make me smile...
  



  But, as I sit and reflect, I also realize that I have experienced some sad moments here at this place: I remember looking out at this same water -these very mountains - and wondering if my grandmother would pull out of her health crisis. Or if a dear friend's father would live following a near-fatal tractor accident. I witnessed a sailor struggle to swim to shore after his boat flipped over, sending him plunging into the ice-cold and unforgiving Bay. Indeed...those sad moments still weigh heavy...
  And yet, I have come to believe that, regardless of what season of life I have been in, this place has always been one of great peace and healing. There is something about this scenic location that causes me to slow down, to breath deeply, to hear God. Somehow, even in my most painful moments, God's voice has found its way to me here - by these expansive waters. I am reminded that grace isn't just a concept - it is a way of life. Merely being aware of the idea of grace and then actually choosing to believe that it is true are two very different things. Becoming open to this amazing grace that I have been given by God is what sets me free - free to live fully, to love deeply, to listen closely, to believe wholeheartedly. Until I have come to a point of recognizing my need for a Healer, my necessity to have the wounds bound up, I will keep searching and coming up empty every time. The Maker of the very beauty I now behold in my view is the same One who cares for me...ME! The Creator who holds the universe in place, who has known and measured every drop of water in the Bay, who sees and sustains every bird, every fish, every single creature that lives off of this place, that same God loves and cares for me even more! Everywhere I go - even to the dark, inner recesses of the soul - that same God walks with me, never leaving my side, in spite of my attempts to leave His. Even now, in this precious moment, He is here, beholding all that He has made, including me. 
  I will never have these seconds ever again. I must choose to worship and give thanks right now. Here. Opening wide my heart to receive yet one more Grace-filled moment. Here is where the hurting, as well as the rejoicing, find hope: it is in coming to the realization that a God who chooses to love offers grace. Becoming open to Him, open to His gifts, brings healing to the wounded. In the happy seasons, and even in the sad ones, He will always find a way to us. 
  The waves continue to lap the shoreline. The mountains tower high toward the clouds. I savor every bit of this because God has met me here...time and time again.