I enjoyed walking today by Ramla Bay in Malta, supposed to be one of the best beaches in the Mediterranean. Oh abundance!–jellyfish on the beach, shells, and a scatter of brilliant marble-like pebbles, which, with a few swishes in a rock tumbler, would reveal their sleek preciousness.
Will Rogers said, “I never met a man I didn’t like.” Me, I never met a sea I didn’t like. One of my life’s resolutions is to never pass up a chance to walk by the beach—day or night. I feel closest to God there, and have heard God most life-changingly there, and worshipped him with the most abandon there, and surrendered my life into his hands with the most passion there.
Today as I walked by the beach this refrain ran through my head, “I will sing of the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” From the Psalms, of course–the Psalms, second spiritual language to all Christians.
Oh, the ocean!! We live in an abundant universe, but a mysterious one! It gives us what we expect of it. According to your faith, be it done to you (Matthew 9:29). Those who know the universe is abundant will take their rods, sail in their little coracles, and fish. But if we doubt the goodness and abundance and all-surpassing power of God, we might wail and moan that there are not enough fish left– instead of jumping into our boats, or walking on water—and fishing.
* * *
The sea gives, gives, gives
Though generations have taken and taken,
Overfished it, exploited its riches,
Grabbed all they could eat and sell.
And yet Dante’s “force of love
That moves the sun and the other stars”
Reigns beneath the oceans too.
Fish draw close, mate,
Part, scatter their eggs across the ocean,
Their breeding exceeding our greed
As the love of God gives, gives, gives,
The tide flows in,
The tide flows out,
But the ocean is always full.
As God’s love is always full towards us
Through times of apparent recession,
And times of fullness and bounty
No matter how we have blown it,
When we repent
Grace, his fullness
Pours, rushes, gushes
Into our hearts
And from his fullness have we all received
One blessing after another,
And an invitation to come swim
Into that endless Ocean of his love.
The sea of God’s love is full tonight–and always.
There is never “a melancholy, long withdrawing roar,”
God gives and gives and gives
There is no writers’ block with him.
As we lean into his riches,
We never lack for ideas,
“For he giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.”
His revelations are continuous as the skies,
Different each day,
His thoughts vast, uncountable
Outnumbering the grains of sand on the seashore,
And out of his glorious riches,
He gives us abundance again and again.
* * *
As Gerard Manley Hopkins put it in God’s Grandeur,
THE WORLD is charged with the grandeur of God.
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs—
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.