Waves

Reading the Bible

It is a windy Wellington day and the sea is magnificent, great waves rolling into the shore with heads of foam, some waves exploding against rocks, others falling over themselves and dissolving on the sand.

Clouds too are moving and between sea and sky, gulls teeter on outstretched wings, as though fearful of a crash-landing in all this wild energy.

We zip up our jackets and walk along the shore, moving sideways when an extra large wave reaches for our feet. The boisterous air is laden with salt spray and the occasional blob of foam. Our faces are alive with cold.

Days like this demand attention.

They shout God at us, reminding us that everything has been created through the Word made flesh.

Everything has been ‘Christed’ into being.

This includes us.

As we walk on, we’re aware that nature will always have a sacred teaching for us if we can see it.

And if we can’t see because our glasses are covered in spray, then the percussion of the wind, the crash of the waves, still speak.

Listen! they seem to say. Listen to the sound of God made manifest in creation.

Everything is a parable, says the wind.

Take off the lenses made for literal information, and look again at the waves. See how beautiful they are, translucent turquoise near the top, their peaks fringed with white. Some waves are big. Some are small.

No two are exactly the same.

They come into being and then they disappear, replaced by more waves.

Your relationship to God is the relationship of the waves to the ocean, says the wind.

You are mistaken if you imagine you are separate.

You look around and see other waves different from you, and you try to discover your identity by comparison with them.

You also look ahead and see how waves cease to exist. This makes you afraid.

You wonder what you can do to survive. Maybe you can get through the rocks, but then what will happen? What is on the other side?

Life is too short. Is there some way you can come back to where you are now?

If you identify with being a wave, you will always be anxious. Yes, you are a wave, but the wave is an extension of the ocean of God.

You are not the ocean but you are part of the ocean. You are created in glorious form, you grow, dance in the light and then return from whence you came. So you see?

No wave ever dies.

There is no death, no birth, only transformation.

Always you are one with the ocean, one with your loving God. That is your true identity.

We continue our walk.

There are other parables on the way home, trees bending in the wind, a dandelion growing through a crack in the pavement, a vine reaching for the light. But it is the parable of the ocean that we will take home with us.

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