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Sights and sounds

What is that sound I hear? No, it isn’t the wonderful sound of the ocean waves rolling in and out. I think I am hearing the sound of the washer and dryer. Yeah, that’s it. We are home from a wonderful trip to the beach and we are working on plowing through the piles of laundry that accumulated while we were traveling.

As I look at the clock, I realize that one week ago from this very hour I was sitting on the balcony of our hotel eating lunch, reading a good book, and listening to the waves crash on the beach. Oh, don’t we all wish we could be there right now… hey, this imaginary balcony is getting too crowded. No offense, but I would prefer to be there with just my wife. Ah, that’s better. The peacefulness of being away at the beach is just…perfect!

While it was sizzling hot here at home, the breeze blew off the water and made for some very pleasant days at the beach. My wife and I enjoy walking along the beach…well, I like walking along while she likes to take a few steps and then look at all the beautiful shells, take a few more steps and look at all the shells. Don’t worry, we got plenty of walking in and came home with lots of shells too.

One of my favorite sights this year were the porpoises. I start looking for the porpoises as soon as I cross the dune. I was not disappointed. We saw our first ones before we got to the water’s edge. What was absolutely amazing was the number we saw the first day. There were four big groups separated by only a short distance. Then in a little while we saw several more groups. I have no idea how many we saw, but I have never seen so many on any trip to the beach.

My second favorite sight came one evening after a late walk on the beach. We got back well after dark and I found some chairs set up away from the hotel lights. I sat down and looked up at the stars. They were beautiful. I could see the Milky Way. I looked up at the stars in that quiet place for a very long time. The peaceful presence of God was almost tangible.

Whenever I go to the beach I have a strong sense of the presence of God. I know I am not alone in this experience, most people can feel the presence of God walking by the shore or sitting next to a mountain stream. I don’t believe that God pulls away from us when we are at home. I think we are so busy and distracted by life that we become less aware of His presence.

Normally when I am at the beach I have lots of things I want to talk with the Lord about. It seemed like God was quiet on this trip. I knew He was with me and we did talk about a number of things. But I noticed that God seemed to be quieter than usual.

I remember God saying at one point, “Be still and know that I am God.” It wasn’t because I was being excessively talkative, He just wanted to be with me. God, my Daddy, just wanted to spend time with His son. He didn’t have an agenda. He didn’t want to work on some area of my life. He just wanted to walk the beach with me. He wanted me to find a few beautiful shells He put out for me. He wanted me to rest, relax, and just spend some quiet time with Him.

God loves each one of us and while it might be hard to imagine He wants to spend time with us. God created us for fellowship. Like a good parent, He just wants to hang out with His kids. God doesn’t always want to change us…sometimes He just wants to love on us. He wants us to experience the depth of His love. Daddy wants to love and hug on His kids.

I want to encourage you the next time you can get away from the pressures of everyday life…to just be still and know that He is God. Let Him quietly love on you. His love will renew and refresh your spirit. God does want to transform and change us to be more like Christ, but sometimes He just wants to spend time being with us. Daddy loves you…allow that to fill and permeate your being. That’s one sound that I enjoy hearing…”Son, I love you!”

Doug Creamer has written two books: The Bluebird Café & Revenge at the Bluebird Café. Contact him at doug@dougcreamer.com

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