This week's post is inspired by Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island, GA,
where washed up, stripped down, bare and broken trees are strewn across a long stretch of beach. It's a pile of brokenness that draws people from across the country to visit, play, climb, propose, get married, and take family photos. Without the brokenness, we wouldn't have the treasure of its strange and arresting beauty. Without the brokenness, the beach would be just another beach. The brokenness was the way to the beauty.
I'm as far away as I've ever been. I guess. Alone in the middle of the woods. The wind rustling the leaves in a loud whisper. That was the first thing I noticed - the wind. How it moved the tall pines against the sky, then swooped down to flutter the bushes beside me, making me turn to look. The wind soft on my skin and bringing me the smell of the marsh - salty and muddy.
I walk with my arms folded across my chest. Blocked off. Protected. Separated from the world around me. Afraid of it? Maybe. I notice I'm fidgety. I want to take pictures and chat. But there's no one. This moment is mine. Alone in the woods.
I loosen my arms and let them fall by my side. Breath deep. Join the world I'm in. Become part of it. I walk more confidently. But I notice I keep looking down. Focusing on my own steps, and missing what I'm part of. I look up. Where am I? What do I see - when I look? There is so much I can't see it all. Life. Cooperation. Death. Struggle. Peace. Creation. How did I miss it? I feel ashamed. It's so hard to let go and be fully here.
Why don't I do this more? Be part of. Look up. Notice. The world is full of miracles, and I walk with my head down. Eyes trained on my own feet. Arms folded. Shut off. Afraid. Now the sun is shining on my face. Beaming warmth and light and life.
How can I keep this moment? Recall it. Reclaim it. Whenever I fold my arms. Whenever I look down and draw inward. How can I hear the wind and smell the marsh and feel the sun and see God?
I will. I will remember. I will call up this moment when my heart longs for the wild freedom it was made for. I will close my eyes and come back here to this feeling, and I'll remember how to be free. This moment will fade, and my memory of it will be washed over with life and new moments. But the feeling of being here - I will remember it. Seek it out again and again. Find God right where I am. The Kingdom is here. I can reach it today. If I just look up.