Singing to the sea

Yesterday afternoon I arrived here on Bradwell-on-sea (In England, everything is named quite literally) for a weekend spiritual retreat. And let me tell you, England beaches are the absolute dream.

I talk a lot about the exciting pace of cities, but I think my heart actually belongs away from the crowded busyness, and is most at home among seaweed and shells and cold sand.

The moment I saw the sea, I threw off my shoes, rolled up my jeans, and ran towards the coastline, sinking my feet into the muddy sand. After walking down the shore a ways, I realized I was alone, truly alone for the first time in weeks. And before I really realized what I was doing, I found myself skipping and dancing like a child and then, suddenly, and quite loudly, singing.

I’m a really self-conscious singer, and I know my voice was definitely not on pitch, but I decided to just swallow my embarrassment and not care. Since arriving in England, there’s been so much newness and uncertainty. But here, I finally felt for a few minutes utterly at home.

Through many dangers, toils, and snares I have already gone / ‘Tis grace that brought be here thus far and grace will lead me home

I think that God is constantly speaking to us, and often has lessons to teach us that reveal our brokenness and need for His grace. But I also think that a lot of the time He’s saying Hey! Look at what I’ve made! Enjoy and rest in my creation and with the people I have placed in it. This is all pointing towards My greatness and goodness.

As my close friends know, I often get overwhelmed by our smallness in a world that’s so large and so full of good and bad, light and darkness. But we were meant to be small, and maybe that’s okay. Maybe we don’t have to be big to matter, for God to see us. Maybe our smallness, our softness, is good.

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