--for Heather, on your birthday
As a young child, the Midwest prairie was the only thing I knew that stretched further than my eye could see. All that changed when we moved to Colorado where forever grew smaller at the foot of the hill. The world had limits again.
After this, I saw the ocean. God had given me back life. I was seventeen at the time. Just three years earlier the risen Christ changed my life and I knew first-hand the ocean of God’s mercy and grace. Seeing the Atlantic was a visual reminder of a spiritual reality. The only trouble with the ocean was that, upon leaving, it would be nowhere near the place I called home, here in the middle.
And then I found you, unbroken as the ocean,
both depth and breadth
with uncharted mountains underneath your surface.
There is more life in you
than this man can ever know.
You are both dangerous and enticing.
Just when I think you would quit,
you keep flowing as waves
that shape my shifting sand.
You are at turns black and gray and blue,
untamed, free and certain.
Forgive me when I put limits on you
even when it is only because I would be your shore
so I may never stop holding you.
There is something in you and me and us
that reflects God truly.
You are simply amazing,
and I am struck dumb by your wonder
as I was that unforgettable day I first saw the ocean.