Growing up as a native California beach girl has its simple advantages. Many wonderful childhood memories were built around lazy impromptu beach days where chips and cheese could sustain us all day and my siblings and I could play at the waters’ edge for an entire afternoon without fighting. On sunny days, I fill our wagon and take my own four children to the same beach that my own mother took me. We are engulfed with simple sandy beauty. God’s fingers stir the waves that crash along the shore and every shell is treasured like an unearthed jewel. It is the backdrop for a lovely day where I am able to be entirely present with my children and with God’s enticing creation
It is the ocean that draws us, that literally engulfs us in salt and mist and current and tide. The ocean seems too cold for me, but never for my children. They respond to every invitation to leap over waves and plunge their little bodies into the powerful surf that carries them back to the shore. Today I will show them how much I love to be a part of their world, so I will join them for a swim in this ocean. I am at once contained in a buoyant embrace where I feel the joy of youth and the thrill of knowing that this embrace is keeping us all together. Holding hands with my children, we float over waves together, sharing a unified experience that I hope they will pass to their own children. In this ocean, we are equal in our dependency on this powerful presence to hold us together and keep us moving in the same direction. If I go under, so will they. If I stay afloat, so will they.
My experience with the Holy Spirit is like this simple swim in the ocean. When I realize how present and all encompassing the Holy Spirit is, I am compelled by worship to run and jump into the presence of this unending love. It is this unifying experience with the full expression of God that keeps us together.